The Centre for Democracy and Development has been nominated for the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award 2022 (www.aceaward.com) in which, the Centre nomination fits into the category of Lifetime/Outstanding achievement.
This is because, over the last three years, CDD has implemented Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project (NACASIP) funded by Macarthur Foundation. The broad objective was to strengthen and calibrate the operational capacities and efficiencies of the key ACAs in Nigeria to enable them effectively counter corruption through prevention, investigation, prosecution and asset recovery. Within the context of the insidious complex corruption problem in Nigeria; the CDD support has not only been phenomenal and a game changer; it has assisted the ACAs to up the ante in the fight with ground breaking achievements CDD supported the ACAs by deploying state-of-the-art technological equipment including hardware and software, computers, and digital forensic equipment necessary to help timeously detect fraud, track money laundered and analyze complex financial transactions associated with stolen wealth. Technology deployed has helped to reduce turn-around time in investigations leading to the expeditious prosecution of offenders and recovery of humungous resources with a positive impact on national budget performance. The use of technology in fighting corruption became a game changer.
The EFCC and ICPC alone recovered the sum of roughly NGN900 billion (about $2.2 billion) in stolen assets over the last two decades and secured a total of 3,362 convictions between 2010 and 2020. This was a remarkable and significant improvement over previous years within the same period.
The NFIU was upgraded with an enhanced go-AML schema to facilitate efficient financial reporting by financial institutions. This improved the quality of suspicious transactions reports and analytical products generated therefrom which produced financial intelligence that enhanced the tracking of stolen assets.
CDD’s creation of a Central National Web Portal linked to the websites of the ACAs was a major innovation which enabled the ACAs to build partnerships, synergize work, share information and disseminate their activities and enhanced public buy-in and support. Public awareness galvanized support for the ACAs through increased intelligence reports and tips by citizens that greatly help to burst corruption schemes in the public space and reduced the misappropriation of money budget for public projects.
The decline of public ethics and morals is a major hindrance to fighting corruption in Nigeria. CDD gave it a major boost by supporting the ICPC and TUGAR in driving public education and value reorientation with the printing and dissemination of the newly approved National Ethics and Policy on Integrity Policy and the development of the Explanatory Manual of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. These documents perhaps for the first time provided a clear road map to guide public officials on how to comply and indeed the public to identify infractions which may be reported.
The support to the sub-national ACAs of Kaduna and Jigawa states has expanded the frontiers of anti-corruption and added a new impetus to the fight against graft at that level and filled a yawning gap in the national fight against corruption. The visibility, awareness and impact created are already shown with the spate of other sub-national states enacting anti-corruption laws and setting up anti-corruption agencies.
On the whole, CDD support to the ACAs has changed the anti-corruption landscape in Nigeria by enhancing collaboration, partnerships, energization, and policy harmonization and facilitated the monitoring and evaluation of national anti-corruption performance in line with UNCAC.
Significantly, the support has enabled anti-corruption sustainability through the capacities and efficiencies built; partnerships fostered domestically and internationally leading to the recovery of huge stolen assets. Given this, kindly help disseminate on your various network platforms.