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Ihedioha tasks African parliaments on stiffer sanctions on corruption

Published by Tribune on Sat, 26 Jul 2014


THE Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Chukwuemeka Ihedioha, on Friday, tasked parliaments in Commonwealth Africa to prescribe stiffer sanctions for corrupt practices as a way of stemming the trend of corruption in the region.This is coming just as Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region, Honourable Daniel Reyenieju, advised that for the African continent to have peace, there is need to address the scourge of underdevelopment in the region.The Deputy Speaker also implored the Africa parliamentarians to enact legislations that protect whistle blowers and anti-corruption crusaders.Honourable Ihedioha stated this at the ongoing 45th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region Conference holding in Arusha, Tanzania, themed: 'Utilising commonwealth parliaments to combat the challenges to socio-economic development in Africa.'The Deputy Speaker, in his presentation on 'Corruption and under development in Africa: Finding a parliamentary agenda to combat the problem of graft,' maintained that, 'parliaments in commonwealth Africa should be in the vanguard of combating corruption through legislative instruments and measures.'According to him, 'as our experience in Nigeria has shown, corruption is not a dormant force; when you fight corruption, it has the tendency to fight back.'He however stated that, 'for a country to attract optimum levels of Foreign Direct Investment, it must bring corruption under control.'Accordingly, parliaments in Commonwealth Africa, he said, should intensify its oversight responsibilities as to ensure that government projects and programmes achieve value for money.To this end, Honourable Ihedioha also tasked African parliamentarians on the need to adopt a code of ethical conduct for themselves and other public servants to regulate their conduct with respect to conflict of interest situations.
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