As part of efforts to intensify the fight against corruption and insecurity in the country, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/Transparency International in Nigeria (TI-Nigeria), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands and Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) have collaborated to address security concerns.
These groups in collaboration with the CISLAC/TI-Nigeria, Transparency International- Defence and Security Project, recently convened a one-day workshop on “Capacity Building for Relevant Oversight Agencies on Anti-Corruption Reforms in Nigeria’s Defence and Security Sector,” in Nasarawa state.
The workshop was aimed to facilitate a national discourse on defence and security oversight, equipping stakeholders with the tools to understand, interrogate, and conduct effective oversight in the Defence and Security sector to curb corruption in the area.
It featured technical sessions with presentations on the Linkages between Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria, Collaborative Approaches to Implementing and Monitoring Anti-corruption Reforms, and the Framework for anti-corruption Reforms in the Defence and Security Sector.
The stakeholders expressed their regrets in a communique at the end of the workshop, noting that the corrupt and weak Defence and Security sector jeopardizes the peace, stability, and security of the nation.
The communique on the event themed: “Addressing Corruption To Foster Transparency In Defence And Security Sector” was signed by signed by Musa Ibrahim, on behalf of MDAs, Code of Conduct Bureau; Alicho Ogbu, for CSOs, Youth Initiatives against Violence and Human Rights Abuse and Abdullahi Ahmad for Legislators, House Committee on Army.
“Nigeria is facing escalating security threats, with existing challenges persisting and new threats emerging, intensifying the overall insecurity. Addressing corruption is crucial to fostering transparency, responsiveness, and efficiency within Nigeria’s defence and security sector, given the grave impact corruption can have on the sector if left unchecked.”
‘The selection of relevant stakeholders and topics of discussion aimed to facilitate robust and productive deliberations, resulting in actionable recommendations to enable oversight institutions to diligently and effectively carry out their responsibilities, is a welcome development. Implementing and monitoring anti-corruption reforms in the defence and security sector requires collective responsibility and the support of all stakeholders.”
“Corruption is the primary enabler of insecurity in Nigeria and across Africa, affecting all levels of society. To achieve peace, corruption must be addressed.”
According to the groups, indexes show a direct correlation between a country’s ranking on the corruption perception index, its Human Development Index (HDI), and its vulnerability to conflict and insecurity.
“The prevalence of corruption in developing countries, including Nigeria, has become deeply ingrained in the culture, often overshadowing the original human culture. External factors contribute to the perpetuation of corruption in Africa.”
The communique identified a number of challenges to the fight against corruption, including unclear and inconsistent stakeholder communication, turf protection, and the “nolle prosequi” law.
“Inherent challenges hinder collaboration among anti-corruption and oversight agencies in executing their work. Obstacles to anti-corruption work include a lack of clear and consistent communication among stakeholders, turf protection, the “nolle prosequi” law empowering the state to shield certain cases in its interest, role confusion, and other factors that impede policy implementation.”
“Lack of collaboration and partnership among stakeholders hinders the effective implementation of anti-corruption policies, including the insistence on Conditionality of Fiscal Support to States,” the report said.