The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Nigeria, Pa Lamin Beyai, has expressed optimism that the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government as prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and other anti-corruption agencies will help reduce the incidence of corruption in Nigeria.
Beyai gave the assurance through the UNDP Deputy Country Director-Programme, Mandisa Mashologu, at the Training of Trainers on Corruption Risk Assessments (CRA) held at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), a training wing of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), located in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Beyai said that the government being aware of the rating of Nigeria by Transparency International (TI) as the 136th most corrupt country out of 168 countries, a rating lower than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa, has put in tremendous efforts through institutional reforms, enforcements, prosecution, entrenching the culture of integrity and capacity-building of staff of anti-corruption agencies to tackle the menace.
He said, “As you are all aware, in the 2015 Corruption Perception Index by the Transparency International which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 168 countries, Nigeria ranked 136th, lower than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Tackling corruption remains a top priority of the government as one of the means to facilitate efficient delivery of public services and enhance national development opportunities.
‘The process has resulted in on-going institutional reforms which are already yielding positive results. We believe that an efficient and effective public service can positively contribute to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and act as stimulant to curb corrupt practices”
Provost of ACAN, Professor Sola Akinrinade, who declared the training open on behalf of ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, said that the establishment of the academy was in line with the Commission’s determination to fulfill its enlightenment and education functions in a systematic and sustainable way to achieve long term impact in the national war against corruption.
He said, “At the academy, we do not subscribe to the widespread notion that fighting corruption in Nigeria is a lost cause. Our philosophy is that corruption and related crimes can be controlled or managed through a system of training and re-training, geared towards sound policy formulation, operational efficiency and good management culture.”
Professor Akinrinade also said he believes that Nigeria will make great strides in the fight against corruption by incorporating a sustainable attitudinal change in the citizenry, besides arrest and prosecution.
His words, “This week’s CRA training is in part a fulfillment of the dreams and vision of the ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, who embodies the belief that the war against corruption should transcend arrest and prosecution to building long term, sustainable attitudinal change.”
At least 64 participants drawn from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Nigeria Police, Bureau of Public
Procurement (BPP), civil society organizations and other government ministries and departments are attending the week long programme.
Some of the participants who spoke at the training workshop were enthusiastic about the training as they expressed optimism that the CRA would help them identify corruption loopholes in government circles.