Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has said that Nigeria needs transparency and accountability to tackle corruption.
He made this observation on Tuesday in Abuja at the National Policy Dialogue on Corruption, Social Norms and Behaviour Change in Nigerian organized by the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
He stated that institutions like the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, must enforce comprehensive anti-corruption laws that criminalise corrupt activities.
Akpabio, however, submitted that fighting corruption was a complex and multifaceted challenge.
He explained that “However, we must keep harping on the need to fight corruption and also point out strategies that will help out country to give the fight all the push that it deserves.
“For me, tackling corruption involves transparency and accountability; it is also about strengthening the legal frameworks.
“Nigeria is not lacking in such legal frameworks, and the 10th Senate under my leadership is positioned to bridge any existing legislative gaps in the fight against corruption.
“However, institutions like the ICPC must enforce comprehensive anti-corruption laws that criminalise corrupt activities, establish clear guidelines for ethical behaviours.”
Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Saviour Enyiekere, the Senate president said Nigeria’s extant laws have provided for the independence of the judiciary and effective law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute corruption cases.
He advanced that “This is because fostering a culture of ethics and integrity in the society through education and awareness campaigns will help to promote such values as honesty and transparency and accountability from an early age.
“We must make deliberate efforts to encourage civil society organisations, the media, and educational institutions to play active roles in promoting ethical behaviours as well.
“We must also seek new ways of fostering active and engaged civil society that can hold governments at all levels accountable.
“if we must win the war on corruption, we must also improve on our financial transparency rating by promoting responsible business practices, and strict enforcement of anti-corruption procedures in both public and private sectors.”