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Submitted by Olaoluwa Fajobi on
Corruption is a network involving multi-stakeholders. Governments especially in developing countries are prone because of inefficiencies in legislations and enforcement of both laws and frameworks that discourage corruption and promote transparency and accountability. However in developing countries, multi-national corporations are also places we should beam our lights on. While they may pay taxes for operations performed in developing countries but do they pay the fair share? Are there cases where officials of such corporation collude with morally bankrupt indigene government staff to ensure they under-pay? and because of weak systems they may get away with such activities. Public auditing of the activities of these organizations may help expose underground dealings. And I believe there is still much to be done in monitoring of money transfers looted from developing countries away to developed regions for deposit, investment or real estate use. This is where the power of partnerships could work more, ending corruption in developing countries requires us to share information between banks, clearing houses, business operations etc. And we need to do more in terms of disincentives for looting of public treasury and tax evasion. A publicly available database of looters could be a good idea for the world to know who looted what, where, estimated loot, and schematic of how the looting might have taken place. We also need to strengthen civil society organizations in developing countries to monitor corruption indices. Availability of information on revenues and spendings in the public domain can also encourage the citizenry to hold their leaders accountable or at least know what financial resources leaders control over a certain period of time. For instance the former Managing Director of the World Bank during her first tenure as the Minister of Finance in Nigeria few years back introduced the reporting of revenue allocation to the 3 tiers of government in the country. This was done through publishing in local newspapers. And for the first time in the history of the country the average person could be armed with the information on how much a state or local government received on a monthly basis. This potentially could serve as advocacy tool to demand for efficient use of resources and accountability. Related to this is the lack of true democratic institutions and values in some developing countries. We may not be able to make public information on corruption count if leaders can not be 'fired' at the end of their tenure bythe public court of the electorate. Check out all those countries with leaders who have held on to power beyond the normal time including those who have manipulated constitutions and you are sure to see some systemic corruption entrenched. Finally we need to reform tax systems in developing countries so that individuals pay their fair share in accordance to their income and/or any other meaningful, non-partisan taxonomy. And this is my last suggestion and the last in the line of interventions because until we block other channels of waste and corruption and have a guarantee that revenue from taxes will be used in a responsible manner with accurate public records made available then we don't have the moral right to ask the average worker or business enterprise in Accra, Abuja, Harare or Nairobi to pay their fair share. That I think is rights-based. Olaoluwa