Strengthening Anticorruption Efforts Through Engagement With Antigraft Agencies
Social Action established anti-corruption networks across the regions in Nigeria to partner with anti-graft agencies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to discuss how anti-corruption measures can be implemented to bring the needed change in the region. This cordial relationship has seen the networks participating in key stakeholders’ dialogue and spotlighting corruption issues for the benefit of the masses.
On the 17th of August 2023, the Rivers State Anti-Corruption network convened some members of the Civil Society, private sector, and lawyers to attend an interactive session with the EFCC Port Harcourt zonal office at its headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Green Isaac, Coordinator of The Rivers Anti-Corruption Network and Program Officer Social Action speaking during the interactive session
Comrade Green Isaac, Programs officer of Social Action who led the delegates, said the session was another opportunity to “forge a common front and fight the monster, corruption which has rendered our institutions crippled”. He explain further that “While our public finance accountability work spreads across the country and the Gulf of Guinea, we have in the last recent years paid considerable attention to the Niger Delta region. The region which accounts for about 75% of Nigeria’s export earnings has not received commensurate development and this could be attributed to the failure of its public institutions. Public funds are diverted to enrich a few while the region grapples with poverty, weak social institutions like health care and schools. Worse is the erosion of public trust.”
Corruption remains a menace to society and has hindered the effectiveness of public institutions. In Nigeria, corrupt practices abound to varying degrees in public offices and across states. Regardless of the form it takes, corruption is detrimental to our country, and its implications are numerous. It, therefore, behoves the Nigerian government, civil society organizations (CSOs), and relevant agencies to combat this menace and mitigate its negative effects on the country.
As a civil society organization in Nigeria, Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) has been at the forefront of fighting corruption in public institutions. With support from international and local partners, we engage with relevant government agencies and the people to promote Transparency and Accountability in public institutions believing that such would systematically address the challenges of corruption in the country.
Key highlights of the meeting were updates on the EFCC’s ongoing activities, strategies, and initiatives in fighting corruption. According to the EFCC Zonal Commander, ACE Ahmed M. Gali, the commission is in the process of establishing Zero tolerance for corruption in Universities and Integrity clubs across secondary schools. These programs help to create awareness and educate the people about the need to combat corruption in the state.
A Cross session of participants during the interactive session
The session also explored ways to support whistleblowers and witnesses. Participants were educated on how to report corruption cases while ensuring that they are safe through appropriate channels provided by the commission.
As an organization, Social Action remains committed to promoting accountability and transparency in public institutions. We recognize that eradicating corruption especially where it is deeply rooted is gradual and could take time. This is why we continue to build on collaborative efforts and engagements with CSOs, government agencies, international partners, and the people. We are glad that the recent EFCC interactive session has further built our alliance with the anti-graft agency. The Rivers Anti-corruption Network and CSOs present in the meeting are determined to collaborate with the EFCC and collectively combat corruption while promoting good governance in Rivers State, Nigeria.