by Zebulon Agomuo
This was the submission of Olusoji Apampa of Integrity Organisation Limited (GTE), and Babatunde Oluajo, national secretary, Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), at a dissemination workshop on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAc) in Lagos, recently.
Looking at the UNCAC, the first legally binding international instrument for fighting corruption, the group agreed that the Nigerian government anti-corruption policies have not, to a large extent, conformed to the provisions of articles 12, 21, 22 and 39 of UNCAC which deals directly with the private sector, pointing out that this has seriously impacted negatively on the conduct of business by private entities in the current globalised world setting.
According to Apampa, “Corruption in Nigeria is generally seen as endemic and pervasive and is thought to be more prevalent in the public sector. For long, many have not thought of the role of the private sector in entrenching corruption and thus it has been neglected in most legal frameworks. For every corrupt act, there are always two sides – bribe taker (e.g. public officer) and the bribe giver (e.g. company).”
Apampa further said that dealing with corruption demanded “a holistic approach where the people, the public and private sectors are involved.”
According to him, “Perhaps, the biggest question would be to ask if it would be easier to demand compliance if there are adequate legal frameworks spelling out offences and sanctions with regards to corruption in the private sector. This review helps to identify existing gaps in the legal framework in relation to the role of private sector in perpetrating and/or curbing corruption.”
He noted that although the country has adopted most of the measures through the establishment of some whistle-blowing agencies, lack of implementations has been a major setback.
Explaining the essence of the workshop, Oluajo, ZCC national secretary, said: “It is to afford participants the opportunity to set up modalities for working with private sector to identify gaps where such exists in the current laws and initiatives of the government to combat corruption. The output so generated and the recommendations made will also be used to engage the forthcoming UNCAC review of Nigeria as well as be inputted into the draft National Strategy to combat corruption which was recently produced by the inter-Agency Task Team of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Among personalities present at the workshop are Lukman Adefolahan, programme officer, Zero Corruption Coalition; Deji Delano of Ethics 101 Limited; Funmi Makinwa and Kyura Nyam both of Integrity Organisation.
This article was written by Zebulon Agomuo and originally published on businessdayonline