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Anti-corruption campaign should focus on system not individuals – Youth Council

The National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), said on Friday that the war against corruption in the country should focus on the system that allowed corruption to thrive and not on individuals.

Mr. Appolos Thomas, NYCN Coordinator, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, made the suggestion at the town hall meeting on Friday in Kaduna on stemming corruption at community level.

Thomas was a panelist on the topic: “Social Accountability: Curbing Corruption through Tracking Public Procurement and Project Execution in Communities’’.

He said that the current anti-corruption campaign was not yielding the desired result because of the overwhelming focus and emphasis on individuals instead of the system.

“Addressing the gaps in the system will significantly prevent corrupt individuals from carrying out any act of corruption.

“What we are supposed to fight as a nation is the system, such that it will make it very difficult for anyone to perpetuate his or her corrupt tendencies.

“We must work together to strengthen our public system to serve the interest of the people and not the interest of individuals,’’ he said.

Another panelist, Mr. Karik Sarki, Review Officer, Kaduna Public Procurement Agency (KADPPA), agreed that the system must be strengthened to win the war against corruption.

Sarki said that the Kaduna State Government had put structures in place such as the due process and public procurement agencies to strengthen the system and curb corruption at procurement level.

“We are doing all that we can to make procurement processes transparent and accountable, urging community members to monitor execution of projects,” he said.

Also, Abubakar Mohammed, Project Assistant, Connected Development, commended the state government for putting a system in place for citizens to monitor projects execution processes at community levels.

“I am particularly happy that the government has established a citizens project monitoring App called the Eyes and Ears, for citizens to monitor and report sharp practices in project execution.

“However, only a few citizens are utilising the App in monitoring and reporting issues around project execution in their communities,” he said.

In another panel discussion on “Anti-corruption: Roles, Challenges and Opportunities for Community-led Initiative”, the panelists stressed the need for community engagement in project execution to cub corruption.

Mr. Ziniyet Hilary of Zamani Foundation, another panelist, said that citizens must be sensitised on the need to take interest in projects being executed in their domains.

“Citizens must be aware that corruption must be addressed for people to access quality services particularly at community level,” Hilary said.

Also, Mrs. Zagwa Simon of Dogara Community Development Foundation said that community members must be sensitised on available services around them, how to access them and report irregularities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) and Kudan Development Network.

It was supported by Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies and MacArthur Foundation.

CALPED’s Head, Leadership, Governance and Advocacy, Mr. Yusuf Goje, said that the meeting was organised under the Community-Led Anti-corruption and Accountability Project being implemented in pilot local government areas of Chikun and Kudan.

Goje said that the goal was to mobilise communities to cub corruption and improve the quality of service delivery and livelihood in communities. (NAN)

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