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ICPC chairman says corruption weakens economy, dampens investors’ confidence

Prof. Bolaji Owansanoye, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), said on Friday that corruption has the capacity of weakening the economy and dampening investors’ confidence.

Owansanoye was delivering a keynote address at a one-day conference on “Governance, Leadership, and Ethics: How to Build a Thriving Economy’’ in Lagos.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference was organized by the Integrity Organisation, with support from MacArthur Foundation and ActionAid. Owansanoye said that the task of building the economy was a collective one.

“The task of building the economy lies in our hands, it does not only involve those few people who have the reins of governance in Nigeria but is a collective task,’’ Owansanoye said.

The ICPC chairman noted that building a strong economy and lifting the nation out of economic depression required active and ethically minded individuals.

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According to him, corrupt people and lousy governance have a devastating effect on the economy. He, however, urged Nigerians to rise and challenge the position of unscrupulous individuals in the country.

The professor noted that the country required adequate judicial and ethical structures to woo investors. “For our economy to grow, investors are key, without putting adequate structures in place,

investors will continue to avoid coming to Nigeria,’’ Owansanoye said. He noted that although philosophers differ in their definition of corruption, the vice has had devastating effects in the private and public sectors of the nation.

“In the private sector, it can devastate a company and its shareholders and cause investors financial losses. “In the past in the public sector,

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corruption led to increasing in the cost of governance, aggravated poverty and prevented the delivery of government projects and the gains of democracy,’’ Owansanoye said.

He said that leaders should be seen to have the ability to promote integrity and be guided by ethical principles, while he frowned against the culture of silence in the face of corruption and crime.

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“The synergy required in the fight against corruption is collective. We must break the culture of silence that permeates our society.