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ActionAid Nigeria to Unveil New Anti-Corruption Programme

By Dipo Olowookere

A national non-governmental organisation and affiliate of ActionAid International, ActionAid Nigeria, is set to unveil a new anti-corruption programme in Nigeria next week. This is coming as the group also plans to hold a National Dialogue on Corruption.

According to ActionAid Nigeria, the new programme is called ‘Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption- SCRAP-C.’

The event, with the theme: When the fight against corruption becomes ours; Changing perceptions, beliefs and mobilising people’s movement against corruption is expected to hold in Abuja on December 11, 2017.

A statement issued by Communications Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Nihinlola Ayanda, SCRAP-C will seek to look at the fight against corruption “through social norm lenses and complement the law and enforcement approach in Nigeria.”

“The SCRAP-C project is a five-year project supported by the Department for International Development (DfID)’s Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) programme. It is managed by a consortium of three national organisations – ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), and Centre for Communication Production in Nigeria (CCPN) led by ActionAid Nigeria. The project also has four implementing partners Centre for Citizens with disabilities (CCD), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) who are taking responsibility for communities and groups engagements across six strategic states (Akwa-Ibom, Bornu, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano/Jigawa, and Lagos), including the FCT.”

“The SCRAP-C is a research and citizens’ oriented project. It will employ social marketing tools, research, advocacy, citizens’ mobilisation, media engagements and capacity development to achieve programme result which in this case is the desired behavioural change against corruption. Therefore, it will be more practical and beneficial for Nigerians to key into this innovative project to seek for desired behavioural change against corruption.

“It is designed to set the pace for citizens’ engagements. It is a holistic and inclusive anti-corruption effort, designed to take innovative and inclusive approaches in its engagement with citizens. We believe that the adopted approach of citizens’ ownership of the anti-corruption battle would promote and nurture the right attitudes of citizens to corruption,” Mr Ayanda explained.

Giving a background to the project, ActionAid Nigeria Project Manager, Newton Otsemaye stated that, “It is a known fact that past and present governments have indicated interest and indeed made efforts to fight corruption through various programmes and policies. Some have further shown efforts to design legal and institutional frameworks to reduce corruption in Nigeria. In spite of all these, corruption still happens unabated.

“While our policy makers and political drivers seem to be overwhelmed with the scourge of corruption, and how to address it with cutting-edge strategies, literatures have shown that one of the most likely reasons why past institutional, policy and legal frameworks experienced setbacks is because of the huge disconnect between the anti-corruption efforts and citizens’ participation.

“For anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria to be more holistic and inclusive, it must go beyond the boundaries of law and enforcement or sanctions to the terrain of society, change in attitude and behaviour. Therefore, social norms seem to be the new window not because it is new or old, but because there is empirical evidence of a strong relationship between social norms and corruption. On this premise, we may suggest that the anti-corruption efforts could leverage on these empirical positions by either appealing to existing social norms or creating new ones, with a view to changing corrupt behaviour in Nigeria.

“The public dialogue on corruption and public presentation of the anti-corruption project- SCRAP-C will bring together participants from the government, private sector, the media, professional bodies, women groups, youth groups, academia, policy makers and enforcers, market associations, labour unions and people living with disabilities to participate.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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