Civil society organizations and anti-corruption organizations have vowed to strengthen their alliances against corruption in Nigeria by ensuring public officers' greater compliance with the Code of Conduct Bureau's regulation on asset declaration.
The rights groups issued a communiqué after a one-day workshop, ‘Mobilising Stakeholders for Improved Accountability and Good Governance Through Asset Declaration’ organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State.
The workshop, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency, (NOA) and the CCB is one in a series lined up by the anti-corruption group to raise the prospect of the campaign against corruption through inclusive grassroots participation.
HEDA noted that corruption cannot be isolated from economic exclusion and lack of opportunities especially for younger people and indigenous communities who daily face the difficult brunt of redundancy, poverty and associated despair even in the face of reckless display of ill-gotten wealth by public officials.
In the communiqué signed by the Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, civil society organizations, and anti-corruption institutions pledged to strengthen alliances and solidarity by increasing the tempo of working together.
The groups said it recognized that declaration of assets through the CCB and compliance of public officials is one of the most effective ways of fighting corruption as contained in Schedule 1 of the 1999 Constitution and resolved to further degrade, shame, uproot and eliminate corruption in public service, considering its grievous impact on sustainable livelihood.
The groups stated, “The acquisition of illegal assets by public officials is not without the knowledge and collaboration of some bad elements in the civil service and financial institutions. It was observed that while inadequate remuneration and poor conditions of service are not justifications for collaborative corruption in the civil service, participants recognized and called for full implementation of the national minimum wage and improved conditions of service for civil servants most of who live below the poverty line.”
The participants expressed concern about the unimpressive funding and salary structure of CCB workers, in the face of public high expectations and call on the federal government to address the operation and service conditions at the CCB to enhance effective performance.