Goverment harmonises documents to strengthen anti-corruption laws
• Group rates Buhari low on graft war
• Seeks passage of Whistle Blower Act
The Federal Government has harmonised policy documents drafted to remove gaps in the anti-corruption laws with a view to make the campaign more transparently credible and douse allegation of partiality and favouritism.
Besides, lack of synergy between anti-corruption agencies in the country has been identified as one of the yawning gaps in the efforts to effectively tackle the menace.
The harmonisation, carried out at a one-day stakeholders’ consultative meeting in Abuja yesterday organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and the Federal Ministry of Justice, considered three strategic draft documents from the two government agencies and inter-agency task team.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, represented by the Permanent Secretary/Solicitor-General of the Federation, Taiwo Abidogun, said harmonising the three documents, Nigeria Anti-Corruption Strategy, National Anti-Corruption Action Plan and National Strategy to Combat Corruption, government would be able to focus on how best to fight corruption with all government agencies synergising and working together for better results.
Executive Secretary of PACAC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said though it would be difficult to have unanimity in the approach to fighting corruption, there is need to strengthen and intensify the conversation towards reaching common approaches to combating the menace.
In another development, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has rated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration low on its effort to tackle corruption in the polity.
The CDD, in its February report signed by its head, Idayat Hassan, said of the 13 specific campaign promises made during the 2015 polls, the President had only been able to achieve one, which represents 7.7 per cent of the promises, being the official declaration of assets by him and his deputy.
It maintained that the credibility of the anti-graft war seems to be withering away following the President’s approach to unravelling corrupt allegations against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
It also draws government’s attention to the need to work towards the passage of Whistle Blower Act as means of providing protective measure for whistle blowers who are using the recently formulated policy to expose corrupt Nigerians.