The European Union has stated that corruption is the bane of Nigerian development, saying only punishment for offenders can deter people from indulging in such practices.
The outgoing Ambassador/Head of European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr David MacRae, who spoke to reporters in a valedictory session yesterday in Abuja, also identified immunity clause as another issue that demanded immediate attention from the Nigerian government.
MacRae said: “Nigeria has to deal seriously with what is known as the immunity clause. It seems just few offenders are being punished while the real people who commit the offences get away.
“It is regrettable that corruption in Nigeria is not going down and it is affecting the entire country. I am not saying that Nigeria is the worst country; you still find so many good things in Nigeria.
“I am also happy that the government is taking very serious steps to deal with the issue of corruption”.
The outgoing envoy extolled the love of the Nigerian nation by Nigerians, describing it as the only way forward.
“The good thing about Nigeria is that despite all these things I have talked about earlier about how people can be very mean-minded, there is also pride in being a Nigerian and that is a good thing and that is what we should build on.
“When I go round the country, some of the states are progressing very well and are very mindful of their responsibility for safe delivery at state level.”
MacRae, who called on the political parties to ensure internal democracy, also cautioned opposition to desist from heating up the polity, since 2015 is still far.
“I think it is regrettable that already in 2012, we are talking about the next election which is to be done in 2015. I think may be in the last six or eight months we can start talking about who we want to run but to do it at this time is a little bit of distraction because now is the time when the effort should go into making things happen like delivery services, putting in place infrastructure. We are good people and are making good efforts.