The anti-corruption agencies and development partners on Tuesday expressed their renewed dedication to tackling corruption, affirming that combating the menace is possible.
This comes amidst growing worries over the surge in corruption incidents within the country.
They expressed their optimism in Abuja during the 2023 African Union Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja, organised by the Inter-Agency Task Team in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, MacArthur Foundation and the Centre for Democracy and Development, with the theme, ‘African Union convention on preventing and combating corruption 20 years after: Achievements and prospects’.
The Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulkarim Chukkol, highlighted the effects of corruption, including poor infrastructure, economic and political crises, poverty, and security challenges.
He expressed concern about the involvement of youths in economic and financial crimes, particularly cybercrime.
He said, “Corruption is one monster that has troubled and remains a huge challenge to Africa.
“When the so-called future leaders are themselves enmeshed in the criminality of uncommon dimension, it is difficult to imagine what the future holds for Africa.
“A corrupt-free Nigeria, or corrupt-free Africa, is not an Eldorado.”
The Solicitor-General of the Federation, Beatrice Jedy-Agba emphasised the need to combat corruption for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
“To ensure progress, we must take steps to combat corruption which is one critical factor that relegates democracy, security and development to the backseat”, she said.
The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu also drew attention to the root causes of corruption, including the erosion of value systems.
He stressed the need for value reorientation and attitudinal change among citizens to strengthen their moral character.
According to him, corruption contributes to poverty, hunger, and unemployment, which in turn can generate insecurity at various levels.
Despite the progress made, all speakers agreed that there is still much work to be done.
They urged for consistent and sustained efforts on various fronts and the adoption of innovative strategies to meet the ever-expanding corruption typologies and taxonomies.