Verbatim: Sam Aluko on corruption and national development

Verbatim: Sam Aluko on corruption and national development

Friday, August 30, 2019 8:08 am

Professor Sam Aluko

“Shortly after I returned from Britain in 1959, with a PhD in Economics, I went home to visit my parents. My wife and I were driven to the village in our new car which we purchased with money provided by the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan, which was then my employer.’
‘After being well received by my family and the entire village community and we retired into our bedroom, my father and my mother came quietly into the room, called me and inquired very calmly but firmly how, so soon after my arrival from England I was able to possess a car.’
‘They were worried that I should not soil the family by possessing a vehicle beyond my financial capacity. When I told them that it was the FG that bought the car for me, to repay the cost over time, and that even my wife was also entitled to a similar facility so that we could have two cars, if we so desired, but for modesty we decided to have one, they were greatly relieved.’
‘They didn’t want any corruption allegations against me and against the family that gave me birth. And it was one of the smallest cars of that era. Now, in the same village, some of my family members pooh-pooh me for coming to the village in a Peugeot station wagon car when even junior public officers and minor political office holders ride the latest Jeeps, Mercedes Benz and other cars out of the ordinary.’
‘Few Nigerians today, bother about the source of wealth or affluence of fellow Nigerians. The honoured and the honourable are those with money and property. Honesty is no longer the best policy.”
The late economist,  Professor Sam Aluko on corruption and national development, the 2008 Bala Usman memorial lecture at CEDDERT. (Zaria, 31/05/08)

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