I find I. Ebite response to an article published on elombah.com (Government corruption leading to unsafe nation) Interesting. Mr Ebite opined that Nigeria’s corruption problem is not all about government corruption. He added that Government corruption is a problem all over the world so, even if you reduce government corruption in Nigeria, little will change. That reminded of an article published yesterday by the Associated Press: ‘Spain probes 3,000 Swiss bank accounts for fraud’
The report said that “Treasury inspectors are probing some 3,000 accounts held by Spaniards at HSBC bank in Switzerland for possible tax fraud, the finance minister said Thursday — accounts that media reports said could involve more than euro6 billion ($7.36 billion).
Finance Minister Elena Salgado said the owners of the accounts had been notified and asked to clarify whether they have declared the money in the accounts.
“The account holders have been advised. They have to put the accounts in order with the Treasury and of course they will receive the corresponding sanctions and penalties,” Salgado said in an interview with Spanish National Television.
She declined to give details of the amount of money involved but said it was part of Spain’s campaign to combat tax fraud, especially since the country is struggling economically.
“The treasury is very active against fraud,” she said. “We’re stepping up our efforts now because in times of economic difficulties we think the signal that we are determined to fight fraud is even more important.”
And so Mr Ebite said that “The general mindset of Nigerians has to change for the country to survive an imminent major shock…to combat corruption “We just need to change how we think, how we perceive ourselves, our nation and our problems. Nigeria’s problem is more of mental than corruption. Corruption is everywhere in the world. Pave all the streets in Nigeria with Gold, pay all Nigerians whatever they demand as salary, corruption will not end. Corruption is a human problem People who passionate about their nation, people who perceive their problems as challenges and opportunities will always survive. We must find a way out of our dilapidated thinking.
Adding that Prolonged and persistent degenerated thinking has inflicted maximum damage on the nation. There is real possibility there could be a major shift if a real change agent could emerge at the top.
As reported by Associated Press Writers Eliane Engeler in Geneva and Angela Charlton in Paris: Spain, the fourth largest economy in the 16-nation euro zone, is battling to emerge from nearly two years of recession. It has a bloated deficit of 11.2 percent of GDP in 2009 and a eurozone high 20 percent unemployment rate.
Salgado said Spain had recovered more than euro35 billion ($42.92 billion) in recent years by cracking down on tax evaders.
Daily El Pais says the accounts being probed are in the Swiss branch of the bank HSBC and that French authorities had tipped Spain off about them.
In January 2009, French officials, on a request from Swiss authorities, seized files stolen by an ex-employee of HSBC that included data on some 127,000 accounts held by people from 180 countries.
HSBC spokesman in Switzerland Pascal Dubey said the bank so far was in the dark about the investigation.
“The bank has Spanish clients. But we do not know if these were our stolen data that were given to Spain because we have not received any official confirmation from France or from Spain,” he said.
Salgado said the cross-border fight against fraud was increasing every day.
“We are perfecting our instruments for collaboration,” she said. “All countries are determined to end fiscal paradises.”
Switzerland has long been a favored destination for rich individuals to hide money from tax authorities, but in recent years efforts by the Group of 20 largest economies to force offshore banking destinations to be more transparent have diluted the country’s image as a safe haven to stash one’s cash.
Also responding to that article, Emmanuel Obi’ wrote:
It is very unfortunate that we keep expecting different results from the police when nothing has changed from the police our colonial masters created.
The most recent government police reform panel was headed by a man named Muhammadu Dikko Yusuf who was IGP from 1975-1979.How in the world can a man who left the police 30 years ago bring change to the police? He was a member of the ruling Supreme Military Council and so I wonder what ideas of democratic policing that he could have brought to the table? What ideas of the use of technology in public safety and law enforcement would such people bring to the table?
I submit that unless and until the federal government begins to register the unemployed and issue them with weekly or bi-weekly unemployment allowances, we are in for a long ride with violent crimes.
But does Jonathan and his ilk care? Certainly not and we the so called ‘enlightened ‘are a big part of the problem because we want Jonathan for the mere reason that he is a southerner serving as President. We are delighted by this fact alone and care less about the issues that face us. I was very happy Nigeria never won any football match because that would have been an unnecessary distraction.
President Jonathan had been largely aloof as VP and when he became President was unprepared and is now ‘seriously unserious’ as one of my friends put it. Our political leaders now drive around in bullet proof cars and so why should they care about an unsafe Nigeria?
For starters, diaspora Nigerians must rise and mobilise to pressure this FG to begin registration of the unemployed who must get checks until they become employed. Are we going to keep quite while the gang of criminals in the National Assembly continue to officially steal government funds through excessive and scandalous perks of office?
The move to transform Nigeria is a big fight that will meet with great resistance and we must not allow foreign governments to dictate what happens in nigeria becasue they are only after their national interests.
One of the major ways to instigate change in Nigeria is through mass dissemination of information and that means the use of the broadcast media. Diaspora Nigerians who are interested in reform must use radio broadcasts to provide information to Nigerians .The print media will be no use because the SSS will seal up and close down such news outlets.
The point here is that what we have in Nigeria is a 419 representation of true democracy because we still operate under a draconian system.