The auspicious occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day every year presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders and the Center especially to reflects and recommits to the fight against public sector corruption and the entrenching of the culture of transparency and accountability across the board.
In the past one (1) year, Nigeria has made progress in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other regional and international commitments through the signing into law of anti-corruption legislations. The passage of the Terrorism Prohibition and Prevention Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act and the Proceeds of Crimes Act has no doubt firmed institutional and legal frameworks in the nation’s fight against corruption.
For us at the Center, these legislations are crucial to the work that we do which revolves around strengthening the anti-corruption environment; hence, apart from leading the advocacy that led to the passage and eventual assent by President Muhammadu Buhari in May this year, the Center, alongside its partners in the criminal justice sector, has continued to build the capacity of key stakeholders drawn from Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) towards the effective implementation of these laws.
Nevertheless, feedback from our recent workshop points to the need for more advocacy and improved capacity of stakeholders for proper domestication and operationalization of these legal instruments. This year’s Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, therefore, affords us the opportunity to remind stakeholders of their commitments to the fight against corruption, which must now go beyond yearly rhetoric to action-based commitments.
Consequently, and as the Sub-Saharan Africa representative at the Board of the UNCAC Coalition, we are pleased with the direction the Coalition is taking its conversation at this year’s International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). Indeed, stakeholders must move from commitments to implementation, and entrenching anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms to increase government accountability is pertinent. The Center’s Transparency and Integrity Index (TII) is one of such corruption monitoring tools which has proven an important instrument for assessing and improving public sector transparency and accountability in government business.
The assessment which was first developed in 2021 has seen improved performance in some of the variables, with the highest-ranked organization scoring 58.74%, up from 34.92% in the previous year. As part of our expansion drive, the Center is currently seeking partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs) across the continent to mainstream the TII as a tool for measuring public sector transparency and accountability.
Also, the conversation around environmental crime at this year’s conference is apt and timely. The Center’s organized crime project focuses on the issue of environmental crime and its contribution to the climate crisis that our planet is currently facing. The need to strengthen institutional and legal frameworks against environmental crime and enforcement of extant laws on clean and healthy environment must indeed be part of the conversation in our collective effort to stem the climate crisis.
The Center congratulates advocates around the world and urges stakeholders not to relent in the fight against corruption. Corruption is a scourge that requires our collective resolve to uproot from our society. In this recognition, to commemorate this year’s IACD, the Center is organizing a “Good Governance and Organized Crime Quiz Competition” for youth corps members and secondary school students in view of the need to inculcate the right values in young people. This event is also intended to sensitize young people on good governance and organized crime and its danger to peace and societal development.
Let’s join hands and “Say No to Corruption, Every No Counts”
Public Relations Officer
Image source: UNDP