The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), has urged Nigerians to see whistle blowing as their responsibility, emphasizing the need to report corrupt practices at all levels.
He made this known recently at the launch of the Corruption Anonymous (CORA) Whistleblowing Platform jointly developed by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and her partners. The CORA Platform, which is aimed at strengthening the Whistleblowing Policy of government, is a secure civil society driven public whistleblowing tool through which citizens can submit tips on corruption and other forms of wrongdoing anonymously.
Professor Owasanoye, who was represented by ICPC Board Member, Mrs. Anne Otelafu Odey, stated that Nigerians should embrace the technology-enabled opportunity to anonymously report corruption in order to scale up the successes being recorded in the ongoing war against corruption.
“The launch of the whistle blowing policy in 2016 and the setting up of a coordination centre in the Federal Ministry of Finance is also aimed at encouraging citizens to actively come up with reports of corruption as well as eradicating unethical behaviors and actual or suspected fraud in the workplace”
The ICPC boss commended the organisers of the event for the laudable initiative which will impact positively on the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
‘It is a step in the right direction which would greatly help in the fight against corruption. However, for this initiative to have the desired impact, the platform should be easily accessible and should provide secured and confidential hotlines for the informants and the information received in order to strengthen and promote an ethical environment devoid of victimization and reprisal attacks”
Earlier in his opening remarks, Dr. Chido Onumah, Coordinator, AFRICMIL, explained that “the CORA platform will complement the government’s whistleblowing platform managed by PICA and provide Nigerians an opportunity to participate, using whistleblowing, in consolidating the fight against corruption in Nigeria.”
The event also witnessed keynote remarks by Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who oversees the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) which manages the whistleblowing policy, and Dr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, and Dr. Garba Abari, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency.
As part of the launch, there was a panel on Practical Approaches and Best Practices for Incentivizing Whistleblowing in Nigeria,” comprising Mr. Oke Epia, Executive Director, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative; Mr. Johnson Oludare, Assistant Director, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA); Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, Spokesperson, ICPC, and Ms. Chidinma Amanambu of the EFCC Academy.
The event featured a video vignette on how to blow the whistle on corruption using the CORA tool.