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“Youth should not tire in fighting corruption”
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“Youth should not tire in fighting corruption”

While Nigeria’s new policies for tracking corruption are having results, Alabidun Sarat, 22, a Correspondent from Lagos in Nigeria, reports continuing problems with internship funding. She calls for continued pressure to ensure youth receive the support they have been promised.

Recently the Nigerian government invented the whistle blowers policy. This policy was created to put corruption in check and the way it works is quite interesting.

People who have authentic information about the whereabouts of laundered money belonging to the country volunteer this information to the government. In return, the federal government gives them three to five per cent of the recovered money.

It is fascinating to note that in just about five months since the inception of this policy, the Nigerian government has recovered about 21 billion Naira, mostly in cash. Some of these huge sums of money are recovered in foreign currencies including dollars, pounds and euros.

Preliminary investigations show that most of these sums are looted oil money, while some were supposedly meant to buy arms for the defense of our nation.

However, there are some set of funds that Nigerian investigative bodies never seem to lay their hands on.  Neither has a whistle blower ever by chance come across this money, despite the fact that it is not utilised for its intended purposes.

These funds are the Industrial Training stipends. Year in and year out, Nigerian university students are required to undergo internship, some of which range from three months to one year in duration.The industrial training fund is set aside to pay the Nigerian student a stipend during the course of their internship.

However, hardly any Nigerian student receives any of that money, and this goes on year after year. Now, one can only wonder if these monies are being laundered, as people who are ordinarily meant to benefit from the funds aren’t receiving them. Surprisingly enough, no one seems to talk about it. The Nigerian students’ voices have either gone hoarse, or very few of us know that we are entitled to stipends from the government during the industrial training. Or maybe both. Corruption and corrupt officials use this tactic to thrive – they feign ignorance of corrupt practices which they themselves perpetrate and watch the victims cry foul till they get wearied. In a short while, everyone forgets about these issues and corruption feeds fat on the pocket of the nation.

Earlier this year, the federal government of Nigeria started an empowerment program for unemployed graduates, mostly youth. They were to render some services to the government and receive salaries monthly. About 200,000 youths were employed in this program. But in its fifth month after inception, only a very few have ever received a dime out of these salaries. This is despite the fact that the government says that it has released funds to the empowerment organization.

Sadly, month after month some set of people fail to pay these young people their money. It is left to our imaginations how these funds leave the government pockets and do not get to their required destination. These youth are currently at their shouting stage, yet as always seems to be the case, it appears the authorities are only waiting for the youths to get tired and thereafter forget their entitlements.

It is instructive to note that the Nigerian youth is the major victim in both instances of corruption mentioned. The youth are also the most active component of a society and if they relent, what hope then is left for the nation?  This is why we cannot afford to get tired yet. We should not watch our nation being sucked dry by corrupt individuals.  They sit, watch and hope that the Nigerian youth would get wearied. Tired is what we should not be.

photo credit: Joe The Goat Farmer 3 Ways to Create a Potentially Viral Marketing Video via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a graduate of Applied Chemistry from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria, with a flair for writing. I’m looking to change the world, one word at a time. I blog, too, and I love horses.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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