Communiqué issued at the end of a 2-day meeting on Gender and Corruption:
Second Corruption Survey Report in Nigeria organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC), incollaboration with the Kano State Government through the PCAC, and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and UKAid, held in Kano, February 20 and 21, 2020
• Corruption remains one of Nigeria’s most dangerous hurdles with far reaching consequences on livelihood, security and economic development.
• The wave of corruption continues to hit millions of vulnerable Nigerians, including women whose qualities of life are diminished by the cycle of sleaze associated with public officials and policies of Government at various levels.
• The spiral spill of corruption is evident in human misery, poor health and social services, the lack of access to essentials of life that drive violence,
extremism, youth restlessness and a frightening atmosphere of anomie all of which combine to threaten stability and public order.
• Women represent a critical stakeholder in any meaningful combat of corruption given their strategic status in the social spectrum and their numerical strength in Nigeria.
• In the past few years, the Nigerian Government has shown renewed vigour in fighting corruption through new laws, creating anti-corruption institutions and improved energy in the recovery of illicit funds from corrupt individuals
at home and abroad.
• Specifically, while gains have been recorded by President Mohammadu Buhari earning the iconic African Union’s Anti-Corruption Medal, the specter of corruption is far from being subdued presenting the menace as a long-standing affliction that requires collective response.
Therefore, In Kano, for two days came Stakeholders from local and international institutions, women-driven groups, top Government officials
including the Governor of Kano State, H.E. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Representative of the Honourable Minister Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the UNODC Representative in Nigeria, Dr Oliver Stolpe, the Executive Chairman, Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission,
(PCAC), Mr, Muhyi Magaji Rimin Gado, Hon Commissioner Kano State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Zahrau Muhammed
Umar, representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), serving and former Commissioners of Women Affairs, various leaders of women organizations and indigenous communities from across the country, labour, civil society and the media.
• The Keynote address was delivered by the Hon. Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame PaullenTallen, who was represented by Mr. Adamu Gizo. Goodwill messages were delivered by the various groups and institutions, including the UNODC.
• The meeting acknowledged the quality of the report, CORRUPTION IN
NIGERIA: PATTERNS AND TRENDS being the Second survey on corruption as experienced by the population produced by the UNODC and the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS) as a fact-driven milestone for greater understanding of corruption trends which generates gender-based issues in the context of bribery in public sector in Nigeria.
• The report revealed inter alia, that three out of Nigeria’s six geo-political zones have experienced decrease in prevalence of bribery since 2016 but this has not stemmed the frequency of corruption as a result, some 117 million bribes are paid on a yearly basis in Nigeria.
• Efforts at fighting corruption by the Government are acknowledged, such efforts have improved in the past three years, yet the efforts remain less than being totally satisfactory.
• Despite in some cases even significant and encouraging improvements corruption remains common among many public officers like Police, Federal
Road Safety Corps, (FRSC,) Vehicle Inspection Officers, (VIO), tax collectors, health workers, teachers and lecturers as well as public utility providers partly because they interact more with the people than other public officials.
• The fact that identified public officials have the power of prosecution scares many people prompting the public to pay bribes instead of facing the law.
• Low remuneration and poor working conditions of public officials are not justifications for bribery; however, they encourage the propensity of corruption in Nigeria.
• Impunity, especially by the political elite contributes significantly to the prevalence of corruption expressed further in the lack of political will by
drivers of public institutions.
• That the public and individuals, including the smallest social unit, the family are enablers of corruption indicating the floundering fortunes of the
country’s once remarkable moral heritage.
• Poor regulatory mechanism encourages the frequency of corruption in the country assisted by the lack of effective sanction and reward system which oils the engine of corruption among receivers and givers of bribe.
• Many Government institutions are yet to imbibe ICT, leaving the system at the mercy of public interaction with cash exploited by predatory officials.
• Poverty, lack of sustainable wealth creation and discrimination in the distribution of resources continue to fuel inequalities and consequently aid
• That from available data, women are less likely to take or receive bribes
raising deeper concern about the need for policies inclusive of gender mainstreaming.
• Women representation in policy conception and implementation or feature in elected or appointed political offices in Nigeria falls below global
• That women continue to be treated as mere observers, receivers of pecks and stunted privileges during electoral campaigns at the expense of being included in policy conception and implementation by political parties and
• Participants observed that the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill first presented in 2011 which seeks to empower women through 35 percent
affirmative action among others, continues to receive stiff neck attitude from the National Assembly.
• Corruption must be tackled headlong in Nigeria and efforts should involve every socio-cultural unit for effective communal action towards positive results.
• Nigerians should be further empowered through Production of more Information, Education and Communication (IEC), materials
employing cultural signs, music, art and indigenous languages to change peoples’ attitude to corruption.
• The creation of more frontiers of non-state actors across the country to open up wider windows of opportunities for participatory actions against corruption.
• The Public Procurement departments should be strengthened and made to function in accordance with the legal framework within which they operate.
• Educational policies and curriculum should be culturally and morally driven; backed by a geometric increase in the activities of anticorruption clubs in tertiary institutions as a way of instilling values in younger Nigerians.
• The judicial system should ensure diligent, speedy and effective prosecution of corrupt officials devoid of political influences, bias or favoritism in any form.
• Participants advocated for capacity building and insurance for relevant anti-corruption officials, including investigative journalists.
• Civil rights organizations ought to work with UNDOC/NBS in future research, which methodology should include observations apart from the qualitative approach and such should be extended to other fields like women with disabilities, faith-based institutions, assessment of the SERVICOM and ACTU Units in the various agencies.
• Anti-corruption agencies be led by people appointed on merit (i.e. without political interference), the institutions should also remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and should be more accessible to Nigerians irrespective of where they live.
• A register should be opened to blacklist convicted corrupt officials.
• Develop the skill of media practitioners to improve follow-up instincts, capacity building for women media practitioners, investigative journalism for broader anti-corruption reporting.
• There should be adequate protection of whistle blowers, life insurance for anti-corruption workers including but not restricted to women investigative journalists.
• Public institutions should drive revenue collection through ICT to reduce the chances and need for giving and receiving bribes.
• Women should be better empowered, through re-orientation of the girl child to instill confidence in them, give greater opportunities for women in the areas of social and political responsibilities and positions to reinforce their ability to participate fully in the fight against corruption and movement towards an accountable, stable and prosperous country.
• Women groups should partner with media houses, unions and institutions for better coverage of gender issues.
• The passage of the Gender Equality Opportunity Bill remains a bold and important landmark. Women and gender equality promoters across the country should strengthen existing network by reaching out to their elected representatives towards the passage of the bill into law. Participants reassert their commitment to fight corruption at all levels.
• Participants express deep appreciation to the UNODC, UNWomen UKAid, the Government and people of Kano, the host State for the unique meeting that has brought people from diverse backgrounds to deliberate on corruption which frontally affects the present and future generations of Nigerians.
Held in Kano, February 21, 2020.
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