Combating Corruption is a Collective Responsibility – ICPC

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, has urged Nigerians to see the fight against corruption as a joint effort of both the public and private sectors.

The Chairman made the remark in Abuja recently, at the opening ceremony of a two-day training on Social Norms and Behaviour Change for Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) and the Organized Private Sector (OPS), organised by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) in conjunction with MacArthur Foundation.

The training was aimed to discuss implementation strategies for the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) for different segments of the society.

Professor Owasanoye pointed out that the reduction of corruption should be the prerogative of all Nigerians and should not be left to the Government alone. He emphasized the importance of standing collectively against corruption, saying that it will reduce its impact in the society.

The ICPC Boss further stated that the fight against corruption has evolved from simply wielding the tool of law and order, because there were variables that suggest perpetrators may be influenced by psychological issues. This, he opined, necessitates a focus on behavioural change as concerns corruption and moral norms.

While arrest and prosecution are important as they serve as a deterrent to others, there is need for ethical reorientation, he explained.

Welcoming participants to the event, the Provost of ACAN, Professor Olatunde Babawale, stated that the purpose of the training was to “help stakeholders implement the NEIP with a view to stimulating desirable behavioural change”, noting that the understanding and implementation of the Policy was key to behavioural change.

Professor Babawale further explained that the two-day training was divided into modules that will be beneficial to the trainees regardless of the level of their prior understanding of NEIP.

Presenting a goodwill message at the event, the Emir of Keffi, His Royal Highness Alhaji Shehu Yamusa III, noted that all sectors in Nigeria are faced with the challenge of corruption.

The traditional ruler, who was represented by the Wambai of Keffi, Hon Ibrahim Abduludman, stated that the success of the country depended on the unity and mutual collaboration of all citizens.

The Emir commended ACAN, MacArthur Foundation and ICPC for the various initiatives especially for including traditional institutions as stakeholders to the Policy due to their proximity to the common man. He promised that he would always be available for future discussions and input