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ICPC: Fighting corruption is a collective responsibility in Nigeria

*Prof. Bolaji Owosanoye, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, tasks leaders, religious leaders, civil society organisations, and others on fighting corruption in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the much talked-about festering corruption in the Nigerian system, Prof. Bolaji Owosanoye, Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has urged traditional rulers, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and other stakeholders on supporting government in fighting corruption.

Owosanoye stated this Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at a training for CSOs, Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on strategies for the implementation of National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP), in in Abuja, FCT.

The Anti-Corruption Academic (ACAN), the research and training arm of ICPC organised the training with the support of MacArthur Foundation.

The ICPC Chairman said that the design and implementation of NEIP identified and recognised, society leaders, religious leaders CSOs, FBOs, OPS and Civil Society Organisations as critical stakeholders in fighting endemic corruption in Nigeria, agency report said.

Owosanoye disclosed the aim of the policy is to promote the core values, such as human dignity, voice and participation, patriotism, personal responsibility, integrity, national unity, professionalism, and human dignity in the country.

Urging all stakeholders to own, drive the NEIP and to promote its success, he also noted that everybody has a role to play in fighting corruption in the country.

The fight against corruption, Owosanoye stated, should not be left in the hand of the government alone.

“It takes collective responsibility to stamp out corruption in the society,” he emphasised.

The ICPC Chief stressed the general perception among the populace, that corrupt practices are solely perpetrated by the government officials is a fallacy.

According to him, there is no corrupt act that could be successfully carried out without the support of non-government officials.

He also said that most of the channels used by the corrupt government officials were made easy by the private sector and others.

He said, for example, contract sums are often inflated with the connivance of contractors.

Owosanoye as well said: “Without tackling corruption decisively, our development growth will be painstakingly slow or not growing at all.

“ICPC alone cannot make it happen, it has to do with everyone, it is a collective responsibility, the CSOs, FBOs OPS, the media and other stakeholders are gatekeeper against corruption.”

He urged the stakeholders to not wait for rewards, but to always report any suspected corrupt practices to the ICPC or relevant organisations to promote ‘voice and participation’.

Earlier to his welcome address, Prof. Tunde Babawale, Provost of  ACAN, said the academy conducted the two-day training programme to help stakeholders implement NEIP with a view to stimulating desirable behavioural change in the West African country.

Prof. Babawale said: “The NEIP was adopted by the Federal Executive Council in 2020.

“It expresses core values and normative prescriptions for all nationals and residents of Nigeria.”

The Provost of  ACAN also stated: “The trainees at this two-day programme are from a broad cross-section of the private sector,

“This engagement with private sector organisations underscores the ICPC’s mandate which allows engendering integrity as a component of anticorruption efforts in both public and private sectors.

“This training project has the long term goal of helping stakeholders to translate the values prescribed by the NEIP Into anti-corruption behaviour.”

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