The programme is being implemented by eight (8) cluster partners as part of strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project of Palladium and its resource partners whic is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The project is also designed to address reforms issues within the development commissions set up to develop the Niger Delta region such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the oil and gas producing areas development commissions in Abia, Delta, Edo, Imo and Ondo.
Representatives of political parties who took part in engagement used the occasion to educate Nigerian citizens about the action plans of their parties and candidates regarding graft and inclusion.
In his address of welcome ,the ANEEJ’s Deputy Executive Director ,Comrade Leo Atakpu decried Nigeria’s poor rating by the Transparency International. He also clarified that invitations were extended to all political parties to grass the civil engagement.
He argued that any political party willing to lead Nigeria must demonstrate strong political will to combat corruption failure of which would make the nation to be moving in a circle.
“Nigeria is the 154 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. Nigeria has consistently remained on the bottom rung of the ladder of corruption-free nations. This has concomitant effect in our national growth and development.
” The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently revealed that 133million Nigerians live in multi-dimensional poverty. Public Infrastructures such as power, roads as well as social services particularly educational and health institutions are in dire conditions necessitating an unprecedented upsurge in brain drain and jakpa syndrome.
“The annual inflation rate in Nigeria accelerated for the 10th straight month to 21.47% in November of 2022 from 21.09% in October and above market estimates of 21.15% as the country battles with soaring food prices. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) further revealed in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for that food inflation climbed to 23.72% in October 2022, from 23.34% in September 2022.
In the same vein, the Naira continues to crash over the US Dollar as it sells at N775 to $1 at the parallel market in the month of November 2022 and N441.51 official rate. This has affected livelihoods and brought more persons into poverty. The rising debt profile of Nigeria is set to peak in 2022 and as it continues to spend substantial percentage of her annual budget to service debt amid fresh borrowings as national development is being stifled.
” The Total Public Debt Stock, representing the Domestic and External Debt Stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory, was N42.84tn ($103.31bn) as at June 30, 2022. The comparative figures for March 30, 2022, was N41.60tn ($100.07bn)” ANEEJ chieftain said
The National Chairman, Accord Party,Muhammad Lawal Nalado disclosed that part of his party’s strategies to combat corruption would be commence public education and sensitisation about acts and behaviours that constitute or promote corruption in our society .
The AP leader said the media only focused on corruption in public sector while many Nigerians are daily engaging in corrupt practices without them knowing
” I think the problem with corruption in Nigeria is serious that the way we perceive it .Many Nigerians do accuse those in position of authorities of being corrupt while many of them also indulge in act of corruption .Maybe many of them,genuinely were ignorant of the fact that what they were doing amount to corruption.
“For us in AP, the fight will start from members of the public to educate them about this .Then others things like strengthening the institutions can come in once we have spelt out what is and is not corruption .I must add that AP will be ready to support whichever party wins the election at the end of the day to effect this reforms in the system .And I believe other political parties would team up with us too on this. “
The National Women Leader, New Nigeria People’s Party(NNPP,) Dr. Mariam Yasin argued that the integrity of the Presidential candidate was crucial to the fight against corruption.
She said that the NNPP Presidential candidate, Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso remains one of the few political leaders without any case of graft hanging on his neck .
Dr Yasin also hinted that the NNPP planned to redesign the National Youth Service Scheme to accommodate Service, Skills Acquisition and immediate Empowerment of corps members.
In her submission, the Deputy National Chairman (Operations) of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) Mrs Rose Gyar hinted her party was registered in 2018 and had produced seven House of Assembly member and a member of House of Representatives.
She disclosed that APM planned to institutionalise processes and procedures to promote open government,accountability and engaging the people in service delivery processes.
The National Secretary of the Action Alliance (AA), Mr Vanimbe James
the party would implement the recommendations of the Oransaye Report to end the menace of overbloated public service.,but implement the Living Wage as against unrealistic Minimum Wage.
He hinted that the AA plans to set up Special Court for Corruption cases.and instil attitudinal change on Nigerians.
Mr Adejobi Peter of the Labour Party said corruption is now synonymous with Nigeria in the county of states. He attributed the ugly trend to corrupt individuals perpetuating themselves in power.
He said the LP planned to cut the cost of governance as demonstrated by its Presidential candidate, Peter Obi when he was governor of Anambra State.
The LP chieftain said the party shall turn Nigeria from the consumption economy to a production economy .