By Michael Eboh & Loveth Chukwuemeka
The Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms, TUGAR, has stated that despite the slow judicial process in Nigeria, the Federal Government had recorded significant successes in the fight against corruption.
Speaking in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day, the Head, TUGAR, Lilian Ekeanyanwu, said the anti-corruption strategies embarked upon by agencies in Nigeria, though in their elementary stages, were already recording progress.
TUGAR is the secretariat of the Inter-Agency Task Team, IATT, with anti-corruption and accountability mandates in Nigeria.
Specifically, she noted that significant funds had been saved through the Treasury Single Account and other similar policies, adding that these funds had been used to support the poor.
She said, “In as much as the savings are being applied towards social benefits, I will say it is impacting positively on the masses.
“The recovered assets, both internationally and locally, for instance, are used for the social initiatives and cash transfer to vulnerable people in our society.”
Ekeanyanwu added that going by the number of high-profile individuals indicted for corruption in Nigeria, the country had attained a feat that only a few countries had been able to achieve.
She said, “We are just trying to implement it and also track the progress. So far I think we are doing well. I will rate us above average in the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.
“It is only one country that has death penalty for corruption, but many others are still struggling to sanction the calibre of people we have successfully sanctioned in Nigeria.
“I know that law enforcement and the judicial process is slow, but we are consistently doing a lot in that effect. And when it comes to prevention, it is amazing how much we have achieved.”
Also speaking, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, called for the introduction of the death penalty for individuals found culpable of looting the country’s funds.
Obi maintained that it was unfortunate that many looters of the country’s funds were still moving freely without any being tried and urged the government to increase its fight against such persons.
She said, “We know President Muhammadu Buhari has made a pronouncement to fight corruption but we are saying that he should fight corruption from his own internal processes.”