The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on Nigerians to have a change of attitude by demanding probity from their leaders if the country is ever going to record meaningful progress in the fight against corruption.
Obaseki made the submission at the one-day Roundtable on Behavioural Insights and Policy Making in Nigeria towards the Fight Against Corruption, organised by the African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), in conjunction with the UKAID and ActionAid Nigeria, in Abuja.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Taiwo Akerele, said, “the greatest threat to the elimination of corruption is the weak demand for accountability by the citizens. If the demand is weak, the supply will even be weaker.”
He called for a change in mechanisms for the elimination of corruption and corrupt practices in Sub-Saharan Africa and noted that his administration has continued to make appreciable progress in the fight against corruption, by strengthening the state’s public procurement institutions.
He added that the state government has embraced open data and open governance since 2013, and has domesticated the Fiscal Responsibility and the Public Finance Management laws.
Obaseki said the state publishes contracts worth N10m and above through various media channels and has developed a performance evaluation metrics to ensure value for money in all contracts. He added that Edo State audited financial statement is published within the first quarter after the end of every financial year.
Obaseki told participants that having the enabling laws and institutions are good and encouraging, but stressed that their objectives would only be realised if citizens work towards changing their behaviour towards corrupt people and embracing only those who are honest and hardworking.
Participants at the event include civil society groups, members of the academia, development partners, representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), office of the Vice President, Rule of Law Advisor, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), among others.