The 9th of December of every year since 2005 is set aside by the United Nations [UN] as the “International Anti-Corruption” day as adopted by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime [UNODC].
This year’s theme is ‘Break The Corruption Chain’ already being popularised on social media using the campaign #breakthechain. The aim of this campaign is to show the cross-cutting and impact corruption has on all aspects of human endeavour and sustainable development for the planet.
Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon in his message said that the 2030 agenda for sustainable development looking at GOAL 16, recognizes the need to fight corruption in all its aspects and calls for significant reductions in illicit financial flows as well as for recovery of stolen assets.
Back home, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Connected Development joined fellow CSOs, key government stakeholders and the international community to mark the Anti-Corruption Day by being part of an anti-corruption seminar convened by Centre for Social Justice with Stop Impunity Nigeria, Say No Campaign, Transparency Nigeria and Zero Corruption Coalition in close cooperation with the Presidential Advisory Committee [PAC] on Anti-Corruption and funded by the European Union under the ‘Project on Support to Anti-Corruption in Nigeria’.
In his welcome address, Myani Bukar, representing Professor Bolaji Owasanoye of the PAC explained the mandate and role of the PAC while encouraging the continuous participation of CSOs in the fight against corruption’; meanwhile the rep for the Country Director of the United Nations Development Program [UNDP], Pa Lamin Beyai, noted that the adopted Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] which were crafted in far more consultative manner that the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], has shown the importance of good governance and accountability as enshrined in GOALS 7- 11.
Corruption in Nigera is a story that needs no introduction, the current administration of President Buhari defines corruption as the greatest form of human right injustice. Many people believe that oil boom and the dismal dispensation of duties administration by public officers has supported the rise of corruption. Other factors such as greed, nepotism and an ostentatious lifestyle have also supported corruption.
One of the highlights of the seminar was the presentation of a ‘vox populi’ video which touched on key topics surrounding corruption. Panels were held as well on corruption practices in Nigeria and how CSOs, Faith-based organisations and other associations to share insights on fighting the scourge of corrupt practices and fortifying anti-corruption chains through cooperation.
Some of the recommendations offered the CSO reps included increasing capacity building for CSOs on understanding the instruments that support enabling acts such as the FOI act, building better knowledge bases for affairs on key MDAs that some CSOs have their work centered around, in addition, CSO workers should be courageous in speaking up on matters beyond the National level and look at both State and Local levels. Finally, Citizens were encouraged to see governance as their responsibility, given that it was in pursuance of their civic rights that our leaders are now in power.
CODE, through its Follow The Money initiative breaks the corruption chain by ensuring transparency and accountability in the implementation of funds [international aid or government spending] intended for local communities.