By Ngozi Nwankwo
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC has stressed the need for Nigerian government to strengthen fight against corruption.
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said communities are loosing billions of dollars and countless opportunities to corruption hence, the reason to end the crime.
Guterres made this disclosure at the International Anti-corruption Day 2022 held in Abuja, recently.
The 2022 Anti-corruption Day with the theme: UNCAC At 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption seeks to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security and development.
The United Nations Secretary General, said corruption is threatening Communities’ financial certainty, escalating conflicts and climate disasters, therefore, calling on everyone’s cooperation and involvement in order to overcome the crime.
Guterres’ speech read by the Country Representative, UNODC, Oliver Stolpe said that states, government officials, Civil Servants, Law enforcement officers, media, representative of private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth have role to play in fighting corruption.
He said UNODC is responding to the fight against corruption, saying that this year, the Agency established its Anti-corruption Regional Cops in Africa and America to bring it’s system and expertise to the point of delivery.
In terms of emergency and critical, UNODC has its Anti-corruption safeguards in place, said UN Secretary General.
According to him, Anti-corruption efforts will prove essential to safeguard climate, finance and to ensure that improve sensation is not undermined by corruption practices.
” Anti-corruption education send forth our work to connect, engage and empower the next generations,” he said.
In his own remarks, the Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe revealed that 2023 will mark the year UNODC would renew its partnership with the Nigerian government in the area of anti-corruption, with second new projects coming on line.
He said with the support of the United State and UN Peace Corps, UNODC will be embarking in a partnership with the Nigerian Police Force, disclosing that, the partnership is geared towards addressing most critical findings of 2019 National Corruption Survey and mainly the challenge of the citizens in a excessively insisting on complaints mechanism and seeking redress for police misconducts.
According to Stolpe, the project will complement the ongoing cooperation of UNODC with the government of Kaduna State providing technical support in establishment of its Anti-corruption unit.
He, however, said the celebration provides an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the level of implementation UN recommendation against corruption.
While commending Nigeria for the level of implementation, the Country Representative,however, said there is still more to be done by Nigerian government, advocating need for strengthened effort in fight against corruption.
Speaking also, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, said the fight against corruption was an inclusive and collective fight.
Represented by the former DG NAPTIP, Barr Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Malami said there is the need for all stakeholders at all levels of government to continue to take necessary actions to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more effective.