Maryam Aminu – Abuja
The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, held a one-day virtual stakeholders dialogue on effective, sustainable strategies for curbing retail corruption in Nigeria on Tuesday.
The Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Sadiq Radd in his opening remark stated that the only way to fight grand corruption is to engage retail corruption in serious combat.
According to him, retail corruption is what every common Nigerian encounters as they go about doing their businesses. In his definition of retail corruption, he said, somehow paying before you can have access to what is your entitlement is retail corruption.
“Corruption in this form should be discouraged as if discouraged, it will make citizens more patriotic and have confidence in their nation”, he added.
Speaking further, he outlined several activities that MDAs can be engaged in to curtail corruption, some of which are, law-abiding- not breaking laws public orientation, Respect for processes and procedures not by cutting procedures, Little interaction between service providers, re-examining their self values sensitizations as he resolved pointing out that Retail corruption is a must to be fought because it affects the ordinary Nigerians daily.
“However, necessary processes are put in place to ensure eradication of all manners of corruption”, he assured.
The zoom conference also had Kunle Olakunle, Centre for Democracy and Development who represented Dr. Tinu Alinson in attendance, he briefly suggested ways to curtail retail corruption.
“Media, advocacy, sensitization of the citizens for a better Nigeria, interrogate social norms and indulge in good morals”.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Sulaiman Abu Kwari suggested sensitization, good mentorship, accountability, transformation, and utilization of public funds as the key ways to curtail retail corruption. He also assured his support for the fight against all forms of corruption in the country.
The Chairman, ICPC who was represented by Hon. Dr. Grace Chinda in his opinion discussed that corruption has been in existence as old as man. “This companion of man is a bad one and as such should be curtailed”, She said.
“There is a high level of tolerance for retail corruption as it is seen to look like a social norm and this has a great negative impact on us as it brings bribery, corruption, nepotism, unfairness, etc, and such shouldn’t be acceptable anymore in Nigeria”.
She said the curtailing measures to employ are
Active reporting system, putting control measures, values re-orientation, Paradigm shooting against tolerance for retail corruption, and Public enlightenment.
Similarly, Barr. Abiodun Olakunle from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
While speaking on public sector corruption and government approaches. He said the country is blessed with natural resources but utilization of the resources is minimal.
“But of all the challenges we have as a nation, corruption is the most identified. It’s heartbreaking that the situation of the country today is worsening”.
He advised that there is a need for more effectiveness on the part of the public sector.
Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman Anti-Corruption, and Open Leadership also gave his view on retail corruption as manipulating unconventional means meant for the citizens. He said, ”When you make doing the right thing difficult, you make doing the wrong thing attractive ”.
According to him, grand corruption should be fought because it is what makes it fashionable for people engaging in retail corruption. He further stated that the economy has imposed so much on the citizens that they don’t want to waste a single minute of their time. Debo suggest that a workshop for MDAs on corruption and how to solve it should be held,
Technical know-how should be made available, TSA BVN should be allowed to work also.
In attendance also was the Deputy Commissioner of police Olaolu Adegbite, while making his input on the topic of discussion, he expressed dissatisfaction over personnel engagement in corruption through extortions of the general public in check-points, “It is unethical, and as such, any officer caught with evidence should be reported alongside proof”, he added.
Ntukidem Godwin from Federal Road Safety Commission assured participants that the FRSC Abuja chapter has come up with technology that would assist in monitoring staff while carrying out their duties. He said to reduce corruption on their part, they have also made registration online to avoid contact with officers and members of the public.