By Obomanu Marvelous
Former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Godfrey Dikeocha, has called on the national assembly to enact a law that will make it mandatory for details of contracts awarded by all tiers of government which are in excess of 50 million naira to be deposited with the anti-graft agencies.
Hon. Dikeocha who was speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at the unveiling of Season 3 of Anti-corruption programme, Corruption Tori, said that Nigeria’s fight against corruption must move from arrest and prosecution to prevention of corruption.
He told the audience made up Police officers, ICPC operatives and the EFCC that allowing corruption to happen and then those who perpetrate it are arrested and prosecuted may be good before the law but the harm which corruption inflicts on the ordinary Nigerian would have happened while the law is catching up with the criminal.
Honourable Dikeocha also said that the nation must take a hard look at its reward system and give the civil servant living wage because an underpaid civil servant is part of the reason why corruption seems to be endemic within the public sector.
Speaking at the event, CSP EL-Mustapha Sani, who represented the Inspector General of Police, said that the police force was making itself open to receive complaints from members of the public who have issues of corruption against any police officer.
He observed that a situation in which a police constable receives 40 thousand Naira as monthly salary creates temptation to fall for corrupt tendencies.
CSP Sani praised Signature communications for making Nigeria’s younger generation the target of the corruption Tori.
Both ICPC and EFCC commended Signature communications Ltd, producers of corruption for taking the anti-corruption message to the grassroots and school children.
The ICPC representative Garba Akibu said the commission has begun a program of grassroots mobilization and sensitization in its drive to take the fight against corruption to those who suffer the harmful effects of corruption.
He said that since Corruption Tori has focused on the same segment of the Nigerian population, the two organization would need to collaborate more towards the same objective.
The representative of EFCC, Chris Oluka said that the war on corruption must move from a talkshop to action.
He revealed that EFCC was focusing more on preventive strategy because it costs money to arrest and prosecute whereas prevention will save funds, save society from the effects of corruption before it happens and creates trust in the system.
Oluka called for reward for hardwork, competence and integrity and commended Corruption Tori for identifying honest ordinary Nigerians for awards and recognition.
Dayo Olaide, Deputy Director Africa Office of MacArthur Foundation, sponsors of Corruption Tori commended Signature Communications for striving to hand the war on corruption to Nigerian Children.
Dayo said that previous generations have failed subsequent ones and the younger generation need to take back their future by seizing the opportunity which Corruption Tori has provided to define their future and what manner of nation they desire.
He called on the school children who were fully represented at the event to take up the fight, conquer their little school spaces by insisting on what is right and raise their voices in the fight to make Nigeria free from corruption.
The Chief Executive Officer of Signature Communications Ltd, producers of Corruption Tori, VinMartin Obiora Ilo had traced the journey of Corruption Tori in the last three years.
He said the two previous seasons had focused on amplifying corruption stories, investigative reports on corruption and honouring ordinary Nigerians who show corruption wins.
In season 3, whose theme is “Carry the Fight Against Corruption for Head, Na You Get Am” the focus will be on the young generation through establishment of Anti-Corruption clubs in secondary schools and organizing Town Hall meetings at the grassroots.
The event was attended by representative of ActionAid Nigeria, Yar’Adua Foundation and secondary schools in Abuja.