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April 21, 2024
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Umar Yakubu, Executive Director, CeFTIW and the sub-Saharan Africa representative on the board of UNCAC

UN group tasks Nigerian Government on fight against corruption

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By Emmanuel Afonne

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) has urged the Nigerian Government to intensify the fight against corruption and ensure it does not end up only as mere proclamation of statistics.

Mr Umar Yakubu, Executive Director, Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW), made the call on Tuesday at the report presentation of the Civil Society’s Monitoring Mechanism for Nigeria’s Implementation of the UNCAC in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yakubu is the sub-Saharan Africa representative on the board of UNCAC, which has over 350 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

“UNCAC wants the Nigerian Government to implement the provisions of corruption reduction measurement in the country and that is what we are doing through the Anti-corruption Strategy,” he said.

Yakubu said that Nigeria made a commitment to uphold the UNCAC charter and as such it behooved on the country to take action on corruption especially in all the areas provided in the agreement.

According to him, Nigerian Government needs to start measuring its achievements in the fight against corruption in terms of statistics rather than proclamations.

“It is about measurement; we should be able to measure our progress or lack of it; we are trying to dispel narratives to say that we are doing well or we are not doing well.

“If you have reduced corruption, let us be able to say we have reduced it by 10 or by 20 per cent; that is the kind of mechanism we are bringing into play,” Yakubu added.

Dr Musa Aliyu, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), explained that Nigeria had made tremendous progress in the fight against corruption.

He emphasised that the commission was now focusing on prevention to nip the menace in the bud.

‘’We are doing our best to ensure that we encourage and also direct all the MDAs to comply to all extant rules.

“We are also doing our best to reduce to the barest minimum the corruption in the public sector.

“Where we feel there is need for prosecution, we will do it. We are trying as much as possible to ensure that the best way to tackle the problem is through prevention,’’ he said.

Stakeholders from critical sectors of the economy, who participated in the programme, said that implementation and not the laws had always been the challenge of the fight against corruption.

The UNCAC is the most comprehensive and universal anti-corruption instrument, covering a wide range of issues such as prevention, criminalisation, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance.

It also recognises the vital role of civil society in promoting transparency, accountability and participation in the fight against corruption. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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