By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
A policy analyst, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, the Exective Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), has said that the level of corruption in the country has become so endemic that it is becoming very difficult for any individual to curb, and therefore called on every citizens to stop praying and act if they want to see the change they are yearning for.
Otive, in his presentation, during a sensitization meeting of media executives to enhance reportage on the Universal Basis Education projects and public procurement in Kaduna, organized by Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW), supported by MacArthur Foundation, noted that one of the problems citizens are facing is the that, they are praying and hoping that things will change without doing anything to change it.
According to him, “in Nigeria, we pray for things to change, we hope that things will change, but from our experience we discovered that things don’t change until citizens do something.
He also noted that the public sector in Nigeria is lamentably poor as such, there is need to build the capacity of officials on project management, strategic planning and procurement.
He added that to institutionalise probity and accountability, you need to; “make them to become pockets of effectiveness; addressing corruption and building an integrity system.”
He explained that “Pocket of Effectiveness is one in which a public institution provides public services relatively effectively despite operating in an environment in which public service delivery is the exception rather than the norm.
“It has been shown that for an institution to perform as Pocket of Effectiveness, the following must be present: Qualified and visionary leader with outstanding leadership and management skills that will institute merit, integrity and commitment based recruitment; training and performance driven incentives; administrative discipline and inclusive leadership.
“Presence of a group of actors who have an interest that the institution delivers service effectively. High degree of autonomy of the institution with focused mandate.”
Otive suggested that to address corruption, there is “need for implementation of code of ethics, punish those who do wrong, good conditions of service and good environment of work.
“To create systems, mechanisms and procedure that make corruptible transactions difficult. This will include financial guidelines, internal controls, due process and whistle blowers. All these help to increase the capability of the organisation to prevent corruption.”
Earlier, in her welcome remarks, Coordinator of LANW, Hannatu Ahuman, said the meeting was met to; “sensitize Media Executives, News Editors and Reporters on the UBEC project with the view to strengthening civic knowledge & skills towards sensitizing and reporting the extent to which Kaduna State and SUBEB are adopting transparent, responsive and accountable processes.
“Increased utilization and delivery of services of UBEC funds and increased monitoring or demand for service delivery of UBEC supported resources by Community Stakeholders, CSOs and Media.
“Develop strategies for an all-inclusive UBEC/SUBEB funding sensitization across the local Government Areas. To reflect on the media activities around education and corruption.
“To develop a working strategy that would coordinate the media activity to play its role around the UBEC/SUBEB funding using the OGP.
“Both SUBEB and Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority – key players in the implementation of the UBEC projects – will be providing deeper insight into the process of allocation, utilization and procurement to deepen understanding of the Process.”
The meeting according to Hannatu, will also strengthen relationship with the media and provide content for a more robust media sensitisation on governance issues.