- Over the decades, the major anti-corruption challenge in Nigeria has remained poor implementation of budgets in all sectors
- This leads to waste, diversion of massive funds or abandoned projects and the resultant effect has been the untold hardship and poverty experienced
- Say No Campaign – Nigeria since 2017 continues to build the capacity of citizens across the country to actively participate in tracking government projects and budgets
FCT, Abuja - Say No Campaign, a platform of Nigerians committed to fighting corruption, impunity, poverty, violence, and other governance challenges in Nigeria on Thursday, July 8 held a dialogue with labour and trade union leaders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The theme of the event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and attended by a Legit.ng reporter was: Positioning the unions as active drivers of anti-corruption in Nigeria.
Declaring the event open, Ezenwa Nwagwu, the executive director of Say No Campaign Nigeria, noted that the activism of union leaders is called to question when they are not solving societal problems.
Expatiating on the influence of labour and trade union leaders on governance
“From the point where, for instance, a borehole is sunk in a community and the only day people drink water from that borehole is the day of the commissioning because they drill abortive boreholes.
“We come from those communities. As comrades, we don't need a workshop, we don't need anybody to call us out to ask why water is not running.
“Now, if the person who did the abortive borehole has taken the money, then we challenge it and he comes back to do the right thing, and water gushes out for our people to drink we have fought corruption.
“The fight against corruption has been outsourced. It's been outsourced to President Muhammadu Buhari anti-corruption fight. And there is nothing like that. Democracy entails active citizenship; Citizens abandon their responsibility and mantralize every engagement. It shouldn't be so.”
What the Nigeria Labour Congress has done so far
On his part, the Nigeria Labour Congress and International Trade Union Congress president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, stated that the NLC has been a very active driver in Nigeria's anti-corruption campaign.
He noted that immediately he took office, a national campaign against corruption was instituted across all the 36 states in Nigeria.
According to him, some of the recommendations made by the NLC during the campaign like the whistleblower policy and fast-tracking corruption cases have been passed into law.
He commended Say No Campaign Nigeria for its resolve to bring onboard labour leaders in the fight against corruption.
Also speaking, Dayo Olaide, Deputy Director Nigeria; MacArthur Foundation stated that there is a price to pay for every corrupt act.
“Corruption has victims; For every stolen money or for every project that is abandoned, there is a cost for someone out there. Someone pays the price. We need Nigerians who live with the ones who are corrupt to speak out.”
There was also a goodwill message from the director-general of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari who was represented by his special assistant, David Akoji.
The chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, represented by Honourable Obiora Samuel Igwedibia, also addressed the participants.
The highlight of the event was the inauguration of the Labour and Trade Union Network Against Corruption in the FCT.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Say No Campaign Nigeria has taken its campaign for community participation in the fight against corruption to about seven states so far.
The organisation has assembled round-table dialogues that sought to bring together trade unions and labor advocates to redefine the public service sector for efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
The dialogues are also geared towards deepening the focus of the union leaders on anti-corruption, offering encouragement, and providing networking opportunities in the struggle against the rampant abuse of public office.