Photo Credit: North & East Housing Association
By Gideon Arinze
Amid increasing rate of corruption in the country, the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti- Corruption Reforms, TUGAR has organized a workshop to educate relevant stakeholders on the need to encourage the culture of transparency and accountability in both private and public organizations.
Speaking during the South East sensitization workshop on the report of the Scoping Survey and Gap Analysis of the Ethics Framework in Nigeria which held in Enugu, the Executive Director, TUGAR, Lilian Ekeanyanwu said that there exists a total collapse of ethics and norms in the Nigerian society because there is the non-willingness to enforce and respect such norms both on the part of the government and the entire citizenry.
“It is disappointing to discover that many people do not even know that they have the right to pressure the government to live up to expectation and that is why they are unable to hold them accountable for their activities”
She also noted that part of reasons most people in both private and public organizations do not live up to expectation is because they are unaware of the existence of codes of ethics that should guide them.
“As a research organization, we frequently conduct researches on a number of issues in the society, trying to find out gaps and making necessary recommendations which we offer to agencies in charge of corruption like the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and other professional bodies like the Nigerian Bar Associations, NBA as well as Private Sector Agencies” she said.
On how the organization intends to reach out to those in rural areas with its message, she said “that is why we have gathered leaders of thought from different NGOs and professional groups. We have also had the same workshop in Lagos and now in Enugu. Hopefully, we shall have the same workshop in other parts of the country so we can reach out to as many people as possible.
Also speaking during the workshop, the Enugu state zonal head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Usman Ahmed Imam noted that the Nigerian environment partly contributes to the violation of the codes that exist to guide various activities.
He however said that the country can only be rid of endemic corruption and other such challenges by depending on private and independent organizations that would look at what the problem is and proffer solutions.
“The most important thing is first discovering that we have a problem and that is exactly what we have done here today. It is therefore hoped that we shall make headway having realized that we have a problem”. He said.
Speaking further, he said “this kind of programme is really helpful to the commission and we have already started working on some of the issues that have been raised. We however must identify some other areas where we are lacking and make necessary adjustments for the good of the country at large”.
TUGAR is a leading agency in empirical based policy making and implementation of anti corruption and governance initiatives.