Ibadan — Two anti-corruption agencies-Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Ibadan, have called on Nigerians to intensify efforts on whistleblowing so as to expose corruption taking place at the states and local government councils levels.
They made the call yesterday at a workshop for community-based organisations on whistleblowing and the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The workshop was organised by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy and the Onelife Initiative for Human Development, powered by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Programme Officer, CMIL, said, "States in Nigeria budget nothing less than N10trillion. Imagine what N10trillion can do in the country if judiciously expended. The governors have the opportunities to decide who becomes the speakers in their various states, so many of Houses of Assembly are mere rubber stamps. We see speedy approvals to funds because our lawmakers are worshipping their governors."
"In Nigeria, we always look up; we don't look down whereas it is at the grassroots level that high-level corruption takes place without notice because of weak structures that cannot guarantee checks and balances."
In his own contribution, David Oluwole of the ICPC, said more energy should be exerted on the whistleblower policy.
"To me, whistleblower policy is to encourage members of the public to contribute their quota in the fight against corruption by making relevant information available to the various anti-corruption agencies as well as law enforcement agencies so that we can rid Nigeria of all forms of corruption and other related offences.
"Ideally, whistleblower policy supposes to conceal the identity of whistleblowers as they are not supposed to be known unless they want to bring themselves to the fore. As for delay in the administration of justice, I am an advocate for the establishment of special court."
The Executive Director, Onelife Initiative for Human Development, Sola Fagorusi, said, "People are engaged in other forms of corruption beyond money. They also have people around them who watch these things and cringe without being able to do anything about it. I think the whistleblowing policy gives them a clear pathway to address the problem.
"When we talk of corruption, everybody thinks Abuja. Do we think of the state and the local government councils in Oyo State for instance?
"The ranking in corruption shows that the police and the judiciary are the most corrupt institutions. We don't ask what happens when we go to hospitals. Sometimes you have to tip someone in the hospital to get your sick sister or brother a bed space. We really need to let the people see the dynamics to know how corruption affects us. Until the people can see how corruption connects to them and affects their lives, they cannot build a community of whistleblowers", he said.
Vanguard Nigeria News