STAKEHOLDERS have suggested strengthening Nigeria’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) in the fight against corruption.
They made the recommendation at a sensitisation workshop convened by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in Abuja on Tuesday, January 30.
Speakers at the conference with the theme: “Strengthening The OGP And NACS Implementation In Nigeria: A Workshop For Sensitisation And Feedback ” proposed a quick implementation of the strategies in the NACS document.
In his opening remark, the Director General of BPSR, Dasuki Arabi, said the workshop aligned with the United Nations Convention against Corruption in promoting good governance, fostering economic growth, and adherence to best practices.
Arabi said findings revealed a low awareness of the NACS among many states, departments, and government agencies.
He added that the agency collaborated with states to replicate reform milestones and build competencies and strong institutions for better service delivery in states and local governments.
“This workshop is therefore designed to bring together relevant stakeholders to, among others, familiarise themselves with the objective, indicators and implementation mechanism for the national anti-corruption strategy and discuss the progress, challenges, best practices and lessons learned upon its implementation,” Arabi stated.
He added that the meeting was also to discuss the strategic priorities and explore ways to strengthen the collaboration and coordination among stakeholders for effective monitoring evaluation.
He said as a member of the Open Government Partnership, Nigeria developed and implemented various national actions to improve public service delivery, enhance transparency, combat corruption, and empower Nigerians.
Arabi claimed Nigeria had made significant strides towards transparency, accountability and citizen engagement through its commitment to open government.
While delivering his goodwill message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, commended the BPSR for the workshop.
Represented by Simon Tyungu, a director in the SGF’s Office, Akume said Nigeria had grappled with the effects of corruption for too long, which he said had rubbed off on successive administrations in the country.
“Nigeria’s commitment to the application of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and the Open Government Partnership reflects its dedication to building a government that is transparent, inclusive and responsive to the needs of its citizens.
“The real agenda of this administration is committed to eradicating corruption in our society,” the SGF stated.
He added that the government had established the necessary machinery for citizen participation in government as a ‘powerful’ mechanism for promoting collaboration between government and civil society.
A European Union (EU) representative at the event, Emmanuel Oche, said he was surprised that little progress made on implementing the anti-corruption strategy was through the support of foreign governments.
“Why will it take the rest of the world to control us? We keep talking about the national anti-corruption strategy, and to the best of my knowledge, there is no critical finger that has been lifted to support its implementation other than what other partners have helped us to do,” he stated.
He said the NACS was the cornerstone for an all-inclusive approach in the fight against corruption in the country and should be given its right of place.