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The Buhari administration that rode into power under the All-Progressive Congress (APC) in 2015 with the change mantra and fighting corruption as their topmost agenda has come to an end leaving divided opinions as to whether they fulfilled their promises and achieved the anti-corruption agenda or not.

Whatever the verdict is, many are of the opinion that corruption has worsened. While we commend the efforts made by the Buhari administration through legal frameworks, institutions and initiatives, it is pertinent to note that there are so many lapses that were either created or left unattended, which have resulted in the ineffectiveness or in some cases, the failure of these legal frameworks, anti- corruption institutions and initiatives.

The National Anti-Corruption Strategy adopted in 2018 is still not being effectively implemented.

On 29th May, 2023, a new administration, still under the All Progressives Congress Political Party (APC) has taken over the rein of affairs in Nigeria and unlike President Muhammadu Buhari, the newly sworn-in President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not seem to have the issue of anti-corruption as a priority on his agenda, despite the fact that corruption has eaten deeper into every sector of our society and is crippling the country like an epidemic.

From his campaigns to his manifesto, the President has not shown to Nigerians his anti-corruption agenda and clear plans on how his administration intends to fight corruption.

In view of this, we have highlighted below purposes, achievement and lapses/ gaps in existing legal frameworks, anti-corruption institutions and initiatives used by the Buhari administration and previous administrations in tackling corruption in Nigeria.

From the lapses/ gaps, we have drawn up recommendations which we hope the new administration will adopt and implement as part of its anti-corruption agenda for Nigeria.

 

EXISTING INSTITUTIONS/LEGAL FRAMEWORKS

 

1.NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY

 

In line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the obligations as a member State party, the Federal government designed the National Ant-Corruption Strategy (NACS, 2017-2021) as a response to combating corruption in 2017. The NACS was designed to intervene at the legal, policy, technical and institutional levels within the public and private sectors.

At the policy level, the goal is to establish a system that encourages greater harmony between private and public interests. Meanwhile, at the institutional level, the strategy focuses on enhancing effectiveness, efficiency, and collaboration among institutions, laws, and measures devised to prevent and combat corruption, as well as actively involve the public.

 

CHALLENGES

 

However, while the efforts of the enforcement agencies have been somewhat commendable, a lack of political will and accountability, weak (and seemingly compromised) judiciary, the weak governance system of anti-corruption agencies, declining value system, poor wage structure and remuneration, and insufficient stakeholders’ mobilization and engagement, have hindered the effective implementation of the NACS in delivering on the targeted pillars which include total number of petitions received, public awareness and recovery of proceeds of corruption.

 

Public Awareness

 

According to a public perception survey by Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria in its review of the NACS (2017 – 2021), it was noted that the public awareness of channels for reporting corruption cases remains perceptively low, as well as the effectiveness and the level of protection for whistleblowers.

 

2.INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION (ICPC), ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) AND CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU

 

The ICPC is the apex body vested by law with the responsibility to fight corruption and other related offenses in Nigeria

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