To eradicate corruption in the society, the federal government needs to orientate citizens on how corruption affects every individual in the society, ActionAid Nigeria said on Saturday.
The chairman of the governing board of the civic group, Patricia Donli, made the call during a press conference after the organisation’s Annual General Meeting held in Abuja.
In her address titled “State of the Nigeria Nation,” she said corruption remains the greatest epidemic in the country and citizens ought to be aware of the link between corruption and the lack of infrastructure in Nigeria.
She added that proper orientation would help Nigerians see the negative side of corruption and cease to glorify suspects.
Also speaking, the convener of the 2017 general assembly, Mac John Nwaobiala, stressed that the government needs to invest in the fight against corruption by enlightening workers across federal, state and local governments as well as school children, religious leaders and non-governmental organisations on the menace.
“Orientation should be given to young graduates entering the civil service on how to save and obtain loans. Corruption thrives because of fear of the unknown in which general incentives can reduce corruption in the society,” he said.
Also speaking, the country director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ojobo Ode Atuluku, called for local government councils to be granted autonomy so that more matters affecting citizens can be solved there.
She warned that while the whistle blowing policy of the federal government appeared to have been effective since its recent introduction, it could also become a tool for blackmail; therefore, government must seek better ways of eradicating corruption.
“The essence of ActionAid is to energise and facilitate citizens to raise their voice and make their demands as part of governance. Our primary objective is to make government realise that there are gaps as citizens needs and rights must be met.
“If this single call cannot bring about a change, then we have to move from collaboration to confrontation if collaboration is not yielding results,” she said.
Another member of the board of the organisation, Amaka Azuike, said all Nigerians must strive for the country to be one.
“Charity begins at home, therefore transparency should be encouraged while greed, war, tribalism must be discouraged.
“We must go back and declare ownership of the country; let there be communality instead of individualism,” she said.
In a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the organisation also lamented the seeming increase in suicide among Nigerians.
“This new phenomenon undoubtedly has arisen as a result of inequality and poverty level on the citizenry.”
“It is our belief that the distortion of facts, trade in lies and mobilisation of sectional interest in ongoing cases of corruption would have been countered better where citizens have taken ownership of the anti -corruption effort of government.”