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Why corruption thrives in Nigeria, by NEITI

Executive Secretary, NEITI, Waziri Adio

The Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR), a department under the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has said that absence of a robust ethical framework within institutions is fuelling lack of transparency, mismanagement of funds and poor leadership.

In a report titled “Scoping Survey and Gap Analysis of the Ethics Framework in Nigeria,” the department identified a weak ethics management framework in most of organisations in Nigeria.

With about 181 organisations surveyed, including private business associations, informal associations, professional bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public agencies and private business entities, the report observed that there is no national code of corporate governance applicable to all companies in Nigeria.

According to the report, even where policies or codes have been put in place, a lot of organisations have poor implementation mechanisms.

Head, TUGAR, Lilian Ekeanyanwu, while presenting the report to journalists and stakeholders in Abuja yesterday, said the survey was necessitated because Nigeria has long suffered from the ill-effect of corruption at all levels of its economic and social life, adding that “efforts at fighting corruption seem to have had limited success in the absence of a strong focus on strengthening ethics.”

She said the fight against corruption should not be the responsibility of anti-corruption agencies alone but that professional bodies should support the fight to drastically reduce the menace.

Ekeanyanwu said: “Governments at various times have tried to control corruption. However, poor and failing professional standards, poor leadership at various levels and poor workplace practices pose a big challenge to improving system integrity.

“Often and if not in most cases, corruption cases first involve ethical breaches, meaning that robust and well-implemented ethics framework may lead to substantial corruption prevention and reduction.”

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