The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called on Nigerian youths to see themselves as major stakeholders in the fight against corruption for the sake of their future.
The call was made by a Principal Superintendent officer of ICPC, Mrs. Joy Ajah during the 5th anniversary of Step-Up Nigeria which held in Abuja recently.
Speaking as a panellist on the topic: ‘Igniting Integrity: The Power of Youths and Education in Building Collective Action Against Corruption’, Mrs. Ajah, reaffirmed the commitment of ICPC to working with the youths to combat corruption through education and information sharing.
She mentioned various initiatives of the Commission like the National Values Curriculum (NVC) and National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) which were geared towards affecting the mentality of youths and prompting positive behavioural change.
Mrs Ajah added that these initiatives were designed to teach youths that corruption occurs at multiple levels including amongst themselves in forms of examination malpractices, cultism and bullying, while advising them to get involved by contributing to its eradication for the sake of their future.
She commended Step-Up Nigeria for their values which, in her opinion, align perfectly with the Commission’s vision to cascade anti-corruption messages down to the grassroots.
The ICPC officer stated that the Commission hoped that certain policies such as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy would be nationally adopted by schools as sexual abuse remains a menace to the society and a crime against humanity.
She enjoined Nigerians to see the war against corruption as a collective effort as all hands must be on deck for success to be achieved. She also advised citizens to let go of an impoverished mentality that can encourage corruption.
Also speaking at the occasion, the founder of Step-Up Nigeria, Mrs. Onyinye Ough thanked everyone for coming and appreciated her team for making the dream a reality.
She outlined the vision of the organisation to include harnessing novel technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) in classrooms across the country, introduce social sanctions like ‘naming and shaming’ and building a sustainable network of champions of the anti-corruption movement across the nation and indeed globally.
In the same vein, the Board Chair of Step-Up Nigeria, Maureen Ideozu, lauded the founder of Step-Up Nigeria as well as her team for their unwavering dedication to reducing corruption in Nigeria through youth education.
She revealed that it was a remarkable feat for the organisation to have achieved so much in a relatively short while. She added that Step-Up Nigeria has been a strong voice in fostering a culture of integrity among the budding generation.
The event climaxed with the launch of the 5-year report as well as presentation of certificates to schools with a culture of integrity. Other activities at the event included an exhibition of educational tools, story books, board games, animated films and virtual reality productions.
The event was attended by several important stakeholders in the anti-corruption domain including MacArthur Foundation, the British High Commission, Palladium (USAID-SCALE Project) amongst others.