There are growing global concerns on the negative effects of corruption on the stability and security of countries, as well as challenges that it poses for development, democratic consolidation, and the institutionalisation of ethical values, rule of law and social justice.
In Nigeria, several anti-corruption legislation meant to address this menace appear to have failed. More seriously, corruption has weakened the capacity of the legal system to decisively tackle the problem.
Arising from this background, the Justice For All Programme (J4A) organised a two-day roundtable on anti-corruption with media and CSOs stakeholders in Lagos on advancing the anti-corruption agenda.
Consequently, participants resolved as follows:
- The media should be guided by professional standards and ethics in reporting corruption.
- The Media should collaborate with civil society organisations to promote democratic accountability by tracking, documenting and monitoring the fulfillment of campaign promises by elected officials at all levels of government.
- The media should track budgets and monitor the implementation, particularly in relation to key sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, development and poverty eradication, which often attract additional resources from donors.
- The media should monitor and report on public procurement to ensure that the processes meet with legal requirements including open, fair and competitive bidding.
- The media should develop the capacity to access information on revenue flows and operations of the extractive industry where corruption is widespread.
- The media should exercise oversight over anti-corruption institutions, law enforcement agencies and the Judiciary, in order to ensure that the bodies fulfill the mandates for their establishment.
- The media should support advocacy for institutional and legislative reforms aimed at strengthening the anti-corruption processes especially by galvanising public opinion towards making citizens active stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
- The media should consistently incorporate the human and social angles into anti-corruption reporting by stating the losses to society while also giving such reports prominence.
- The media should be familiar with and make use of various international instruments aimed at promoting transparency and fighting corruption.
- The media should invest in investigative journalism and use investigative tools and methodologies to expose corruption.
- The media should monitor public institutions to assess the level of compliance with the obligation to proactively disclose information about their activities as stipulated by the Freedom of Information Act.
- The media should collaborate with civil society organisations to monitor the performance of law courts in the prosecution of corruption cases.
- The media should follow up on corruption cases pending before various courts.
- The media should mobilize public support for the demand by anti-corruption stakeholders on the 7th National Assembly to speedily pass pending anti-corruption legislations including the Proceeds of Crime, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Centre and Mutual Legal Assistance bills.
- Media support organizations and donors should build the capacity of journalists to effectively report corruption issues.
Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights