Focus on Anti-corruption Fight

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Muhammadu Buhari

Ugo Aliogo in this report examines the contribution of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF) in the fight against corruption in the country

The anti-corruption fight has remained one of the cardinal goals of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. In his first tenure, the fight was intensive as looted funds by some public officials were recovered.

However, while the administration was criticised by some sections of the public for allegedly making the anti-corruption fight a witch-hunting exercise, some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have praised the efforts of the government and have been contributing their quota to the eradication of corruption.

One of the CSOs playing its role in the anti-corruption war is the Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF) with the Corruption Not in My Country initiative. The initiative is pan-Nigeria campaign against retail corruption.

In November 2016, the CSO secured partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) under the project on support to anti-corruption in Nigeria which is fully funded by the European Union. The objective of the partnership was aimed at empowering CSOs in the country, enhancing its capacity in the provision of services and participation in the anti-corruption crusade. AFF has also struck partnership with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to promote open governance and transparency in the country.

The Executive Director, AFF, Akin Fadeyi, explained that the projects of the CSO is driven by enterprising, cerebral and young patriotic Nigerians who are selflessly committed to impacting their environment to shun retail and petty corruption.
He remarked that the support young patriotic Nigerians would further accelerate the collective quest to meet the global most values agenda in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Fadeyi, “It will reawaken us as a nation, specifically against ingenious acts of citizen-corruption, poverty and environmental unfriendly acts. We have such ambition to influence our social space which has suffered social corrosion and a depletion of societal core values with debilitating effects on our collective psyche. “Our quick areas of interest are to strengthen capacity by partnering with some institutions including law enforcement agencies to combat petty corruption.

“We shall also work with select Nigerian schools and explore opportunities for instilling the right values and raising anti-corruption ambassadors from that vulnerable sector of the society.”

The AFF has creatively deployed one-minute dramatic infomercial parodies to campaign against corruption in Nigeria through a citizen-led initiative. This has been with the inclusion of top-rate thespians in Nigeria. The Not-in-My-Country tells the story of the corrupt on the one part, and the campaigner against corruption on the other part both from the same populace of a nation blessed with culturally adept and value-driven people but beleaguered by the social dysfunction of endemic corruption.
In a bid to continue the fight, AFF partnered with the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) to launch report corruption app, flag’it. The partnership will be driven on the platform of technology as the AFF is set to launch its newly designed report corruption App known as FLAG’IT which was funded by MacAuthur Foundation.

The app would serve as a tool to strengthen FRSC’s capacity to be integrity-driven, improve on public service delivery and be very responsive to public feedback. It shall also be a platform where citizens can provide positive feedback on credible and outstanding officers.

Speaking at the event, the FRSC Corp Marshall, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, said the presidential decree 001, which supports the ease of doing business, has created more room for the government to be accountable and transparent in service delivery.

He said the FRSC has improved tremendously through innovative projects such as the joint surveillance activity, through which the FRSC partners with other agencies to improve governance in the country; service, “improvement through which Nigerians can now secure their driver’s licenses after two months and after been certified by a regulated driving school; and a verification portal which helps track fake licenses issued to unsuspecting public.”

Oyeyemi, further remarked that no system was perfect without evolving needs for improvement.
He added that the partnership with the foundation was timely especially as it bringing about technological innovation as mechanism for feedback, analytics and insight garnering for improved service delivery.

The Programme Officer, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Nabila Okino, commended the Corp Marshall for boldly confronting corrupt practices within the Corps.

She highlighted the AFF objectives, programmes and interventions in Nigeria, which includes anti-corruption campaign, which is driven through the ‘Not in My Country’ Edutainment skits and the ‘Never Again’ Radio Drama skits, which has been airing on CNN Africa and other TV Channels under the funding of the John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; past training programs in schools and now the incorporation of technology in the fight against corruption.

She lauded the Corps Marshall of the FRSC and his team for their continuous efforts in ensuring safety on Nigerian roads.
Okino added: “Due to the depth of endemic corruption in the society, it was impossible to achieve meaningful gains in the fight against corruption without partnering with major stakeholders. This is what birthed the partnership between the FRSC and the Akin Fadeyi Foundation.”

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, MacAuthur Foundation, Mr. Dayo Olaide expressed the delight of the foundation with the development and also the FRSC for opening up its processes to transparency and accountability.

Olaide said: “The MacArthur Foundation has taken into cognizance the impact of Behavioral insights and learning garnered from the edutainment skits produced by Akin Fadeyi Foundation and partnered with foundation because of the organization’s approach towards fighting corruption through the use these messages crafted for public enlightenment. The importance of the ‘FlagIT’ App and why it will help improve public perception on corruption.

“In 2014, the new president of the MacAuthur Foundation decided to look at the Nigerian situation again and seek new ways on how to intervene by partnering with Non-Governmental Organizations and the Government. Also, on invitation by the Office of the Vice President, MacAuthur rolled out programmes and initiatives that will help improve governance.

“When some people were called and asked to deliberate on what were Nigeria’s most pressing desires. Of all the concepts that were deliberated upon, service delivery and accountability were most paramount. This birthed the ‘On Nigeria’ project to improve the leg-work of reducing corruption. As the man in charge at FRSC at a time when corruption is becoming more endemic, Boboye Oyeyemi has been standing out by purging the FRSC of corrupt officers. Few weeks ago, he was reported to have coordinated efforts with other Agencies to lay off 37 Officers of FRSC found complicit of corruption.

“His latest partnership with AFF under the funding of MacArthur Foundation is yet another indication of a man in endless search of solution to societal ills. He deserves accolades as the world watches this partnership to fester and instill the ethics of global best practices in FRSC.”

He therefore expressed confidence that the partnership was a step in the right direction as it reinforces MacAuthur’s commitment to working with credible non-profits to strengthen institutions and be more responsive to public yearning for a corrupt-free excellent service delivery and accountable governance.