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Anti-corruption system: Dual system approach

Basically, two approaches or special purpose vehicle are tenable; they are, through government institutions/agencies and civil societies pressure groups. Fortunately, there has been a coherent relationship between the two systems as both are targeted toward curbing corruption activities in the society. There is no exact statistics on the number of civil society groups operating in Nigeria, but they substantially play a pivotal roll in fight against corruption.

INSTITUTION ICPC (approximate figures) EFCC (approximate figures)
Cases received 1378 4132
Recoveries
(in USD)
??? 600 million
Investigation 68 300
Prosecution 78 102
Conviction 2 0
Strategy Deterrence, prevention and public sector reform agenda Deterrence, prevention, private sector reform agenda
Legislative powers Investigation, detection and prosecution of public sector corruption at the federal, states and local council levels Investigation, detection and prosecution of all forms of economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
Systems Law enforcement and public sector reforms agenda Law enforcement and public sector reforms agenda
Structure Headed by a chairman and 12 commissioners 2 each from the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Headed by an Executive Chairman with Board of Directors composed of all the Regulatory Financial Institutions including Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria.

Table 1: Performance Index for ICPC and EFCC

STRENGTH WEAKNESSES OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
Strong and wide laws Lack of capacity and professionalism Changing attitude towards the evil of corruption International treaties and conventions not yet ratified may pose as potential problems
Well established institutions and agencies for fighting corruption Inadequate funding The use of ICT will improve the efficiency of the anti-corruptions agencies and courts. The growing sophistication in the use ICT may poses a danger if reciprocal improvement is not achieved.
Public support for antcorruption is increasing Dwindling political will to fight corruption by the leadership Reform agenda in public and private sectors have created a good platform for curbing corruption. The lack of conviction in cases is dwindling public support.
Confidence and support of the international community Political interference and lack of independence International cooperation of corruption is increasing globally The continuous congestion of courts coursing lengthy proceedings is discouraging people from reporting corruption cases
The law covers the entire sectors of the economy Corrupt judiciary and criminal justice system leading to prolonged trials. Future reforms on legislation may address funding problems by ceding a certain percentage of recovered fund to anti-corruption agencies as encouragement. The continuous loss of confidence in government and its institution due to devastating policies, e.g fuel hike, removal of subsidies on agriculture and education.

Table 2: SWOT Analysis – ICPC and EFCC

Conclusion and recommendations

To sum it up therefore, I strongly believe that there is no any single universal panacea for fighting corruption. However, a perfect matrix of, legislations, systems and strategies targeted to increase the risk and reduce benefit of corruption needs to be embraced by the entire citizenry.

Until this is achieved, corruption will continue to remain as a cultural symbol in Nigeria even in the next millennium. But, we do not accept this, and we will not allow it, so let me leave you with some few prescriptions that I think are indeed necessary for reducing internal bleeding in the systems, strategies and legislations in Nigeria. These are:

  • Need to develop and adopt a national anti-corruption framework looking at all angles of prevention, investigation, prosecution and education.
  • To succeed, anti-corruption campaign along the above-identified areas i.e. (prevention, detection and education) need to be rooted into our legislation, strategy and system. It should be looked into as an interrelated sets of plan of action that link one from the other. This means that one set of activities is dependent on the outcome of preceding actions.
  • Expansion, intensification and localization of grass roots anti-corruption initiatives; activation of programs in all key result areas; improved coordination among partner organizations; better office level incentives; unified monitoring systems; and, strengthened anti-corruption bodies and civil society groups.
  • Privatization of all public agencies and institutions which constitute a drain on the economy, especially those in energy sector, oil & gas sector and public utilities.
  • Increased funding for the 2 anti-corruption agencies in the country.
  • Automation of court and training of judges with a view of reducing judiciary corruption.
  • Review of the Criminal Justice System and laws of evidence to keep pace with the developments with global trends in ICT, as electronic evidence is still inadmissible in our courts.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Iliyasu Gashinbaki, CNA CFE, is an anti-corruption expert and author of "Bank failures: The worst corporate crisis of the millennium in Nigeria." He is a policy consultant to the Nigeria Governors' Forum and was associated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria.

Email Iliyasu at gashinbaki {at} anti-corruption {dot} net



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