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The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof Bolaji Owasanonye, on Tuesday, blamed Nigeria’s poverty on the high level of corruption in the country.

Speaking while inaugurating the Enugu State Chapter of National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps, Owasanonye stated that Nigeria was blessed with abundant human and material resources but regretted that it has remained poor due to corruption.

Represented by the National Coordinator of NAVC, Mike Sowe, the ICPC boss said that the Corps was established in 2008 to create an opportunity for partnership with individuals and groups towards the eradication of corruption in the country.

He said that by volunteering to join the NAVC to wage war against corruption, members of the Corps had taken the most patriotic decision any Nigerian could take.

“Everybody agrees that Nigeria is rich, both in human and material resources. Everybody also agrees that corruption is the main reason Nigeria is poor and backward, while other countries have left us far behind.

“In carrying out your duties and responsibilities, remember that you cannot investigate on your own. All reports must be forwarded to the ICPC for investigation and possible prosecution. You must remain above board as the Commission would not hesitate to prosecute any volunteer that commits any criminal offence,” he said.

The ICPC Chairman announced that the volunteers will undergo mandatory training and be equipped with relevant tools to work such as operational guidelines, the ICPC Act and guidelines for community advocacy.

In their separate remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Chief Victor Ikwunze and one of the speakers at the event, Chief Nduka Eya, urged the volunteers to ensure they are corruption-free, and to follow the Biblical injunction by removing the log in their eyes before asking others to remove the speck in their eyes.

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