OUTCOME STATEMENT OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CLUSTER AT THE END OF ONE-DAY STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE ON NACS II
The Anti-corruption cluster of the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project being implemented by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) as anchor and her 8 cluster organisations organized a Stakeholder Dialogue on the National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS II) in Abuja on November 29, 2022.
The stakeholder dialogue was used to discuss and present the newly approved National Anti-corruption Strategy (2022 – 2026) for awareness and implementation process, share lessons learned from NACS I to improve the implementation of NACS II. The meeting discussed awareness creation and public engagement on the implementation of the National Anti-corruption Strategy as well as the roles CSOs can play in the implementation of the NACS II. This became necessary especially as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has extended a revised version and its implementation for another five (5) years.
About 24 participants were physically present while 11 joined virtually via zoom, and were drawn from the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat, the Administration of the Criminal Justice (ACJ) under the Federal Ministry of Justice, Joint National Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD), other CSOs and journalists.
Participants after extensive discussion on the implementation of the National Anti-corruption Strategy (2017 – 2021), identified the following:
- The non-formation and inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) as provided for in the NACS document, posed a major hindrance to the implementation of the NACS. Under the policy, the IMC has the responsibility for facilitating the Anti-corruption Funding Framework (AFF) and the development of sector-specific strategies for the implementation of NACS.
- There is an observed lack of knowledge and misinformation on the part of most agencies as to their expectations in the implementation of the NACS policy. Most agencies are uniformed or do not understand the purport of the policy and what is expected of them in its implementation.
- Inter-Agency rivalry and supremacy battles undermined effective implementation, working against cooperation, information and intelligence sharing, effectiveness of operational platforms and coordination of the anti-graft war.
- Poor funding of the NACS is the greatest challenge facing the implementation of the Strategy. The M&E Committee in its four years received no funding from the government except funding from Development Partners like MacArthur Foundation, Centre for Democracy & Development and RoLAC.
- The National Anti-Corruption Strategy and its implementation have not been given adequate publicity by both the private and public old media outlets and agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the National Orientation Agency, etc.
Conclusion and Recommendations:
Based on the issues identified by participants, the following recommendations were made to strengthen the effective implementation of NACS II in Nigeria:
- CSOs call on FG to inaugurate a high-power Inter-Ministerial Council (IMC) in the 2nd NACS to give a boost to the war against corruption.
- In-line with pillar one of NACS, CSOs call on FG to actively support and promote strong public participation/engagement initiatives in popularizing the NACS II. Civil society should work with Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to promote the remaining 14 ethical re-orientation values to improve public enlightenment among stakeholders.
- FG should provide support to the Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) to meet quarterly to interact, share intelligence and learn from each other thereby promoting collaboration amongst anti-corruption agencies.
- FG should make deliberate provisions in the annual budgets to fund implementation of NACS II. Development partners working in the sector should increase funding of both Government and Non-Government anti-corruption initiatives that aims at the implementation of the strategy.
- FG should hold a round table with CCB, NOA, the National Commission for Films and Video Sensor Board and the media to publicize the implementation of NACS II.
- CSOs call on the Attorney General to issue the guidelines on the activation of the implementation of POCA in-line with pillar 5 of NACS to boost the fight against corruption.
1. David Ugolor, Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Benin City, Edo State.
2. Inyingi Irimagha, Programme Officer, Gender and Development Action (GADA) Port-Harocurt, Rivers State
3. Ann Ojugo, Joint Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD) Edo State Chapter.
4. Onose Martha, Executive Director, Community empowerment and development initiative (CEDI), Warri, Delta State
5. Adeosun Olusola, Executive Director, Community Heritage Watch for Development Initiative, (KAI) Akure, Ondo State.
6. Nwaigwe Henry Okebugwu, Program Officer, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), Aba, Abia State
7. Lukman Adefolahan, Executive Director, 21st Century Community Empowerment for youth and Women Initiative, Abuja
8. Clinton Ezeigwe, Executive Director, Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation (CFCF), Owerri, Imo State
9. Eloho Ekoh, Programme Officer, New Apostolic Church Centre for Development (NCD), Benin City, Edo State.
10. Taiwo Otitolaye, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, Nigeria.
11. Edward Samuel, Senior Program Officer with Reform Coordination & Service Improvement Department, National Orientation Agency, Abuja
12. Tunde Salman, Convener, Good Governance, Abuja
13. Josephine Alabi, Executive Director, Keen and Care Initiative, Abuja
14. Samuel Ojonugwa Jekeli, M & E Officer, Centre for Social Justice
15. Martha Isa, Legal Officer, Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, Abuja