Former President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania has called for more efforts by African countries in the fight against corruption and other vices that retarded development.
Mkapa made the call on Friday while delivering the 7th Zik’s Lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The lecture had the theme: “Taming the Monster of Corruption in Africa.”
The former president said African countries would remain in vicious cycle of non-development, if corruption could not tackled.
“Corruption cannot be completely wiped but can be tamed,” the former president said.
In his remarks, a former Governor of Anambra and the Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Mr Peter Obi, described corruption as a hydra-headed monster.
According to Obi, corruption kills professionalism, entrepreneurship and hard work as well as renders societies incapable of meaningful development.
“Hard work is behind the development of many countries of the world.
“In these countries, where citizens have equal access to opportunities, each citizen is challenged to work hard; you see their entrepreneurial spirits being challenged.
“In such a situation, each professional strives to achieve his full potentialities, but in a corrupt country, the contrary is the case.
”One can even find a councillor living larger than a university professor because the former has access to the treasury,” Obi said.
Obi said that there was the need to build institutions and entrench processes that would check corruption.
Obi said that he was able to pay contractors, pay over N35 billion pension arrears and do more as Anambra governor because he was able to ‘strangle’ corruption.
Incumbent Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobe, said his administration would continue to provide the basic needs of citizens to minimise corruption.
Obiano hailed the efforts of the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, especially in the education sector.
He described Azikiwe as a detribalised Nigerian, who championed the establishment of the University of Nigeria and promoted unity among Nigerians.
In an interview, the Dean of the university’s Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, said that the theme in an effort to profer solutions to the challenge of corruption.
“Without fighting corruption, Nigeria and other African countries will continue to lag behind in development,” she said.
The event which was chaired by Senate President Bukola Saraki attracted dignities from all walks of life.