The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called on the media, especially in Anambra State, to collaborate with it in the fight against corruption.
The Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner (RACC), Anambra State office, Mr. Godwin Oche, made the call at the May Congress of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), held in Awka recently.
Mr. Oche who was represented at the congress by a staff of the state office, Mr. Inalegwu Shaibu, maintained that public sector corruption was the bane of development in Nigeria which cannot be confronted without the media.
He acknowledged that the media, as a critical stakeholder in the society, has a major role to play in the battle against corruption as it can report and expose corrupt practices when it happened as well as educate the citizenry on or against the menace.
He said, “Public sector corruption has been one of the banes of national development. It is cheaper and more result-oriented to government to prevent corrupt practices from happening than to fight it.
“Fighting corruption in a developing nation like Nigeria remains a work in progress. The ubiquitous litanies of the woes of corruption on our moral, socio-economic and national development is very alarming.
“It therefore requires the joint efforts of state and non-state actors to reduce corruption in Nigeria to the barest minimum. ICPC welcomes stakeholders in this crusade most especially the media.”
Mr. Oche, who also spoke on the interventions of the Commission in the state, said that, “We have achieved a lot within the few months we have been in Anambra State. We have conducted system studies in some major institutions in the state like the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Federal Polytechnic, Oko.
“We have held sensitization trainings for staff of some agencies in the state, because it is not everybody that knows what constitutes corruption practices in the workplace. ICPC collaborates with schools, journalists and other stakeholders to teach them what constitutes corruption and the importance of abstaining from corrupt practices.”
The Chairman of NUJ, Anambra State Council, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, assured the Commission of the journalists’ commitment to the fight against corruption adding that the media would not hesitate to expose corrupt practices in the state.
Odogwu who was represented by his deputy, Comrade Ngozi Obileri, commended ICPC for striving to rid the nation and Anambra State in particular, of corruption.