NIGERIA’S SUCCESSFUL OUTING AT THE 30TH AU SUMMIT IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

Timothy Choji

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The 30th Summit of the African Union ended in Addis Ababa Ethiopia on
January 29, 2018. The Summit had as its theme “Winning the War Against Corruption: A Path for Africa’s Transformation.”

During the Summit, the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was made the Champion of the war against corruption, thus positioning him to lead the fight to end corruption on the African continent.

The selection of the Nigerian President to lead the war was the highpoint of Nigeria’s participation this year. This singular act was in recognition of the efforts of the Nigerian government at tackling corruption, a canker worm that had ravaged not only the country’s
economy, but indeed that of most African countries.

Right from his campaign and subsequent assumption of office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari did not hide his intention to fight corruption to a standstill. His efforts have yielded positive results with the recovery of millions of Naira stolen by public office holders in the past, thereby giving him global recognition.

While addressing the continent’s leaders at the AU summit, President Buhari described corruption as one of the greatest evils of the present age. He pledged to do his best in carrying out the task assigned to him by the continental body.

President Buhari’s war against corruption has come to stay in Nigeria as the country remains committed to fighting it to its logical conclusion.

For this to remain as enduring institutions there is the need for the establishment enduring strong institutions that will sustain the fight against corruption in Africa. Similarly, African leaders should avoid mixing the anti-corruption war with politics, in order to succeed.

 

There is also the need for African nations to build synergy between the Judiciary and anti-graft agencies as well as other arms of government, in order to entrench good governance as a way of eliminating corruption.

Africans, especially the leaders, must have a change of mind-set by prioritising accountability and transparency in order to win this war that is ravaging the entire continent.

In fighting corruption, it is always not going to be an easy task as corruption which is perpetrated by the most powerful in the society will always fight back. The citizens should be ready to expose corrupt officers through what in Nigeria is known as whistle blowing policy
and by naming and shaming those involved in the acts.

The new responsibility bestowed on Nigeria is a credit to the country’s anti-graft war. It undoubtedly will raise the country’s profile among the comity of nations and boost her economy through the attraction of foreign Investors who will have confidence in doing
business in the country.

To win the war, other African leaders should rally round the Nigerian President in order to succeed in eliminating and totally wiping out the canker worm from the continent.

Other highpoints of the 2018 AU summit in Addis Ababa include the adoption of the report on the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area CFTA for Africa.

The agreement on the establishment of CFTA will now be signed in Kigali, Rwanda in the third week of March 2018.
This will enhance the free movement of goods, and persons in Africa, leading to a boost in economic activities across the continent.

Similarly, the Single African Air Transport Market was inaugurated at the summit, thereby opening up the sector in Africa and particularly Nigeria because of its vantage position on the continent.

Nigeria will now become a major force in air transport business because of its central location and proximity to other countries. As a result of this development, the Nigerian government is already finalising plans to float a new air carrier, which will contain a fleet of aircraft that will traverse countries within the continent and beyond, boosting tourism and increase in revenue that will be used for developmental projects.

The 2018 AU Summit will no doubt go down in history as one of the most successful in recent years. What remains therefore, is how to build on the gains of the summit and make Africa the hub of doing business in the world.