I was in a church recently and there was a call for donations in support of a project. Someone stood before the church to support the project but also decided to exhort the church on the blessings that accrue from giving to God. According to him, some months back, there was a call for financial support to another project. He was not “financially sound” at that time but made a donation nonetheless, believing that it would attract blessings to him. That same week, he went to a project site to supervise a construction project. The contractor told him that he needed a better car to aid his supervisory work in the rough terrain, and then gave him N2m, with which he bought an SUV.
At the end of the so-called testimony, he shouted: “Praise the Lord!,” and the church responded with a thunderous: “Halleluya.”
I was shocked. A person who was supposed to supervise the work of another was given a cash gift of N2m for a car by the person he was sent to supervise, and he accepted it without any scruples. He was not bothered that he had been offered a bribe that would influence his ability to supervise the contractor professionally. Rather than see it as an inducement, he saw it as a blessing from God for the donation he made in the church that week, and stood before a church to brazenly “thank” God for it.
That depicts our attitude to the issue of corruption these days in the nation. The line between corruption and blessing has become so thin in Nigeria that many people no longer know the difference between the two, or simply pretend not to know. It was not surprising that in December 2012, Transparency International ranked Nigeria 139th in the Corruption Perception Index of 2012 out of 176 countries. Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to get the position of the 35th most corrupt country in the world. In 2011, Nigeria had been placed 143rd, making it the 39th most corrupt country. Even though it looked like an improvement, a close look at the number of countries ranked showed that it rose from 176 in 2011 to 182 in 2012: an addition of six extra countries. Read more