Sunday 11 November 2018


The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) was the subject matter for discourse under the auspices of CDD in Abuja on the 30th of October, 2018. The meeting of the representative of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), with CSOs is a follow-up to the inauguration of a 17 member Monitoring & Evaluation Committee in September. The NACS was launched on July 5, 2017. Over a year after the launch of the NACS, how far have the contents been implemented for the 4-year plan (2017-2021)?

The fact that CSOs should be the drivers of the 5 pillars of NACS was emphasised. The 5 pillars are:

1) Prevention
2) Public Engagement
3) Ethical Re-orientation
4) Enforcement
5) Sanctions/Recovery & Management of crime proceeds

Some of the CSOs present were One Campaign, Open Society Foundation, Trust Africa, Integrity Organisation, etc. Lilian Ekeanyanwu, Head, Technical Unit on Governance & Anti-Corruption Reforms, TUGAR, Nigeria, remarked that too much emphasis is laid on prosecution to the neglect of prevention. With the launch of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the focus shifted from apprehending the thief to prevention of theft. Prevention is always better/cheaper than prosecution. Some other strides in the area of prevention are: Justice sector reform, Public enlightenment, Risk assessment, deployment of NACS to states and LGAs with the attending challenges.

In my intervention, I said that that the NACS document needs to be further democratised through translation into pidgin and the major Nigerian languages. Besides, the link to the NACS document should be widely circulated. More NGOs/CBOs need to come on board for the successful implementation of the strategy. I also talked about the importance of technology in the anti-corruption war - the less person-person contact, the more transparent the process.

Soji Apampa, CEO Integrity Organisation reiterated the fact that the objective of the NACS is to instill in the citizens the fact that honesty pays. In this regard, we should note the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) for more efficiency in the OGS. Many companies have surrendered themselves to the CGRS because such a rating precedes the company's listing on the Corporate Governance Table (CGT). Directors now have to write exams to show that they understand why they are on the Board! Building integrity seems easier to sell in the private sector than in the public sector. There is also the alignment of incentives for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

The following are some of the resolutions at the meeting:

*The NACS is a citizen-oriented document that should be constantly fine-tuned and interrogated.
*The average citizen believes that unemployment is a more serious problem than anti-corruption. More advocacy is necessary to explain why corruption could indeed be the cause of unemployment!
*CSOs working on anti-corruption should collaborate. They should stop working in silos.
*Citizenship engagement should be prioritised.
*There are global norms for anti-corruption: deployment of technology/OGP/OpenBudget, etc
*There should be total integration of CSOs into the NACS. CSOs should be represented in the steering committee.
*Presidential Initiative for Continuous Auditing (PICA) should continue to be vigilant.
*Wanted: CSOs engagement plan from MDAs.
*Translate the NACS into pidgin and major Nigerian languages.
*There should be collaboration on the NACS with MDAs through the structures of NOA.
*The right base-line data for the NACS needs to be established and adopted. A good starting point could be the 'Scoping Survey' by TOGAR.

This meeting was a healthy interaction between CSOs and government on the NACS. More of such collaborative engagements for the citizens' benefit are welcome...

Related Links

*National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) - Federal Ministry of Justice
*An evaluation of the Nigerian National Anti-Corruption Strategy
*FG sets up 17-member anti-corruption strategy monitoring, evaluation...
*Why corruption thrives in Nigeria by NEITI
*Weak ethical framework fuels corruption in Nigeria - Report
*Role of business integrity in national transformation
*Nigerian civil society and the fight against corruption
*Corruption & Governance
*Explainer: How Transparency International (TI) assessed Nigeria's corruption level
*The cost & benefit of battling corruption for young people
*How N500b Ecological Fund was siphoned and diverted in 15 years - Documentary premiered 25th January, 2021

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