The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) with support from the Macarthur Foundation has designed programme aimed at to mobilising about 20 million Nigerians, particularly youths, to lead the war against corruption and impunity in the country.
The project seeks to build resistance against corruption by exposing corrupt practices and demanding prosecution of indicted suspects.
Executive Director of YIAGA, Samson Itodo while briefing journalists yesterday in Lagos, noted that through #BounceCorruption, YIAGA would establish resource platforms effective anti-corruption campaigns and public outreach.
According to Itodo, the platforms will promote anti-corruption efforts by other stakeholders fighting against corruption and promoting public accountability. More importantly, #BounceCorruption will aspire to inculcate the values of integrity, patriotism, transparency and accountability in citizens. #BounceCorruption will facilitate collaboration and networking with different stakeholders involved in the campaign against corruption and impunity in Nigeria.
Itodo observed that decades of institutional weakness and bad leadership have fueled rent seeking behaviors and corruption in Nigeria.
He added that the return of democracy in 1999 birthed new reforms and anti-corruption programs by former President Obasanjo to clean the public service and stop the hemorrhage in public resources. But ‘politics’ and political calculations soon short-lived many reforms and the anti-corruption program. Under the immediate past administration, corruption reached new heights due to the reluctance of the state to combat the menace.
“Nigeria is experiencing an unprecedented resurgence in the fight against corruption under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The present administration has demonstrated strong will to fight corruption through the prosecution of high profile individuals alleged to have been involved in corrupt practices. Two executive bills aimed at strengthening the legal architecture against corruption have been presented to the National Assembly for passage.
Nine mutual agreements and treaties on corruption have been signed as well as the launch of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy. A Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption was constituted as part of the Federal government’s effort to reinvigorate anti-corruption.
According to the Federal Government, N430 billion (in naira and foreign currencies) were recovered as proceeds of corruption between January 1 – August 30, 2017. 137 convictions were secured during the same timeline,” he said.
Itodo however assured that the #BounceCorruption project would strengthen anti-corruption in Nigeria by amplifying corruption investigations and empowering and mobilizing citizens especially Nigerian youths to demand accountability.
“Our approach entails promoting the role of traditional and social media in anti-corruption programing, campaign, advocacy, and learning; promoting partnership between media and youth groups on anti- corruption and empowering and strengthening community systems for accountability and anti- corruption. Through Bounce Corruption, 20 million Nigerians will be mobilized to rise against corruption in their community through radio, social media and public debates.”
“40 Bounce Corruption radio ambassadors from the 36 states of federation have been selected and trained on using radio for anti-corruption advocacy. The project will also increase the demand for accountability and prosecution of corruption cases through whistleblowing, campaigns and public interest litigation. Lastly, #BounceCorruption will facilitate access to information on corruption and anti-corruption efforts through using data, technology, media reporting of corruption cases,” he stated.