Corruption in Nigeria has become a growing concern as Nigeria has lost over $400 billion to corruption since its independence. In January 2020, the country was ranked 149th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index with Somalia and South Sudan at 179th being the most corrupt; with Denmark and New Zealand being the least corrupt. Reducing corruption in Nigeria has been the heart of the work done in anti-corruption national agencies and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria. To this effect, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC), the National Orientation Agency (NOA), and the Secretary-General of the Federation developed the National Ethics and Integrity Policy which seeks to strengthen national cohesion, social equity, and equality of purpose in the pursuit of basic freedoms, individual and social rights as well as the material development of all Nigerians.
On Wednesday 13th October 2021, Accountability Lab Nigeria a CSO making governance work for people hosted an "Accountabilitea" event in collaboration with the ICPC at the Corinthia Villa hotel, Abuja with the aim of promoting the National Ethics and Integrity policy with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). During the event, Mrs. Azuka C. Ogugua - The Deputy Director of public enlightenment and education of the ICPC gave an overview of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) which was encapsulated around seven core values which include: human dignity, voice, and participation, patriotism, personal responsibility, integrity, national unity, and professionalism.
Mrs. Azuka C. Ogugua - The Deputy Director of public enlightenment and education of ICPC gave an overview of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP)
Mr. Muhammad Ashiru Baba, Director of public enlightenment and education of the ICPC went on to present how CSOs and NGOs can help in the promotion of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP). Here are some roles he suggested:
1. CSOs and NGOs can adopt or incorporate the policy within their organization’s policy;
2. They can invite the ICPC to come shed more light on the policy during their programmes in line with anti-corruption themes;
3. They can also help in distributing the policy document offline and online across their social media platforms to help reach many Nigerians; and
4. They can collaborate with the ICPC on advocacy visits to private sector stakeholders to seek their buy-in.
Mr. Muhammad Ashiru Baba, Director of Public enlightenment and education of ICPC speaking on how CSOs and NGOs can help in the promotion of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP)
The event was graced with representatives from many CSOs and NGOs who listened and hope to find ways of supporting and promoting the National Ethics and Integrity Policy. Some of them include:
1. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/Transparency International
2. Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG)
3. Connected Development (CODE)
4. Youth Alive Foundation
5. Integrity Organisation
6. Inclusive Friends Association
7. Partners West Africa
8. Set Up Nigeria
9. Aspilos Foundation
10. TASCK (Talent, Agency, Stories, Community, and Kinetics)
11. Brain Builder
12. Young African Leadership Initiative
13. Akin Fadeyi Foundation
14. Gender Mobile Counseling Initiative
15. Civil Society Centre for Leadership
16. Paradigm Leadership Support
17. Youth Empowerment Solutions Project Initiative
18. Kingdom Global Helpers & Empowerment Network
19. Grassroots Accountability Advocacy
20. Good Governance Awareness Initiative
21. People United to Serve Humanity.
Towards the end of the event, Accountability Lab Nigeria Project and Learning Manager Ehi Grace Idakwo said that; "Accountability Lab Nigeria in line with its vision of making governance work for people by supporting accountable institutions had collaborated with the ICPC to create an ecosystem of CSOs that can actively promote the core values captured in the National Ethics and Integrity Policy and are committed to sensitizing the public and other stakeholders towards imbibing these values".
In conclusion, we would continue to monitor the development landscape and see what actions CSOs and NGOs would take to promote the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) in line with their work.
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