International Anti-Corruption Day 2020: Stakeholders resolve to jointly fight corruption

Stakeholders in the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria arose from a one-day webinar with a resolution to put all hands on deck through collective action and multi-engagement strategies to effectively combat corruption in the country.

The resolution was reached recently in Abuja at a virtual event organised to commemorate the 2020 International Anti-Corruption Day.

The seminar was organised by the Inter-Agency Task Team on Corruption (IATT) in collaboration with the European Union (EU), Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), MacArthur Foundation, and Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).  

The event had as its theme: “United Against Corruption” #Recover with Integrity, and focused on corruption as one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In his goodwill message, ICPC Chairman Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, represented by the Secretary to the Commission, Prof. Musa Usman Abubakar, commended the effort of the organising Agencies, while appreciating efforts made on assets recovery across the globe.

Prof. Owasanoye reiterated the functions of ICPC and the successes it had recorded over the past 12 months despite the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria and the world at large.

He listed some of the successes to include the hosting of the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption during which two outstanding public servants were conferred the Integrity Awards by President Muhammadu Buhari; the approval of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy by the Federal Executive Council; hosting of Regional Webinar on Combating Illicit Financial Flows, launching of the National Corruption Index and presentation of ICPC@ 20 Legacy Book amongst others.

He also revealed that the Commission had restrained assets worth billions of naira through interim and final forfeiture orders. The Commission, he said had through its Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Initiative (CEPTI) forced 59 contractors handling abandoned projects worth 2.2 billion Naira back to site.

While delivering his goodwill message, the Country Representative of UNODC, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, acknowledged the effort of TUGAR for organising the event, adding that with COVID-19, anti-corruption work had become critical and challenging.

Mr. Stolpe advised, “…as we prepare to recover and rebuild, we need to leverage on each other’s strength.” 

Mrs. Lilian Ekeanyanwu of TUGAR, enumerated the effort Nigeria had made in the area of Corruption Risk Assessment, while revealing that the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo would launch the Nigeria Ports Process Manual to commemorate the day.

Representatives of different IATT took turns to present their account of stewardship in the last one year.