The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is charting a new course in the fight against corruption by focusing on the local government areas.
To implement this new focus are 70 civil society organizations that are duly registered with the Commission and work under the umbrella of the National Anti-Corruption Coalition (NACC), an initiative of the ICPC.
While addressing the coalition members in a meeting on 19th November, 2014 in Abuja, Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta suggested ways by which local government officials could be held accountable in the delivery of service to the public.
Nta charged the CSOs to organise local people for developmental projects needed in communities. “Once you have the community needs collated, you take them to the councillor of the ward who presents them at the legislative meeting. Once approved, put them on the community notice board for all to see.
‘When the whole community is aware that this project has been approved, they begin to mount pressure on their councillors and chairmen who will then have no choice than to implement the projects”, he said.
Mr. Nta warned that though 298 CSOs were registered with the Commission,”.. only 70 are active and those who are not will be delisted as this meeting also revises the memorandum of understanding that enables the collaboration, for better efficiency.”
He noted that the collaboration was primarily empowered by Section 6 Sub-sections a-f of the ICPC law which empowers the Commission to enlist the support and active participation of the public in the fight against corruption.
He also commended the active CSOs for not concentrating only on areas that attract foreign donations. He acknowledged the contributions of the CSOs at the various local government areas which had helped the anti-corruption effort significantly especially since the ICPC did not have personnel at the local government level.
A participant, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Secretary of Ajasin Foundation in Owo, Ondo state told journalists in an interview after the meeting that corruption was so entrenched even at the grassroots” where every government official demands gratification before they perform their duties.”
She suggested that aside from the usual ways CSOs in the coalition carry out their work, they could as well work with local youth groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and others, to imbue in the young ones the values of integrity and hard work.