According to the African Union Report, Africa on an annual bases loses over $148 billion to corruption. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank, posits that of the continent’s $82 trillion in undiscovered resources, an annual $55 billion out of it will be enough to power the whole Africa. Sadly we have to add this loss to lavish administrations and poor management of our God-given natural resources. No African country is completely free from this ill, and as such has become a trait that runs through most countries in the continent, collectively dragging the state and image of Africa to the mud and worse still making us more broke than we bargained for.
Claudelle von Eck, of the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa reports that there has been an annual loss of about $46.5 billion (R700 billion) in South Africa over a 20 year period; Nigeria currently lost a top spot in oil production to Angola for no other reason than gross corruption in the oil sector. According to Oby Ezekwesili, former VP of World Bank, Nigeria has lost an astounding $400 billion to corruption in the oil sector over a 33-year period (1966-1999). In 2015 alone, Nigeria lost a huge sum of $32 billion (₦6.4 trillion) to misappropriation of funds in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation- NNPC. Still counting our losses, in 2012, Angola registered the disappearance of $32 billion from the national account; in the same way, Kenya’s Martha Wangar while condemning the high rates of corruption in the country, discloses that an estimated amount of $4, billion has been lost to corruption in Kenya. And the list goes on and on… Africa clearly needs to tackle this cankerworm for the best.
Corruption has become the new African trademark, little wonder why we get the kinds of stare we get at international airports and arenas. It’s almost like we are ticking time bombs often expected to explode for the worse. The rate of corruption in some African Countries has automatically made Africans blind to the dangers of the social vice; in fact, most Africans are so to say, conditioned to corruption, by default; it is seen as the normal way of getting things done. Due process only has a place in fabricated news headlines but not in practicality. A world bank study shows that a range of $20-$40 billion is annually generated from bribery in Africa. Imagine what this can do for Africans if put into genuine good use.
More heart piercing is the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards acts of bribery and corruption. Guilty officials are paraded in the news for a few weeks, but before you know it, they virtually go scot-free. In some appalling cases, they are even appointed to be in higher offices. We might never understand how the African system truly works but we are in dire need of discipline and if our dear leaders do not lead by good examples, then nothing justifies the capital punishments meted out to armed robbers and petty thieves.