Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has joined a group of other civil society organizations in calling on the Nigerian Government to ensure transparency in the recovery and management of corruptly acquired assets to stem the vicious cycle of re-looting of previously recovered assets.
The organizations met under the auspices of the CSO Advisory Committee for the EU funded Project “Support to Anti-Corruption in Nigeria” which is being partly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was noted in a statement at the end of the fifth session of the meeting which held in Abuja that the need for transparency underscored by lessons from the looting of previously recovered assets.
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) was one of the Stakeholders present at the meeting, which was held in Abuja on March 9, 2016. Institutional members include the Technical Unit on Governance and Accountability Reform (TUGAR), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the European Union (EU), United Nations Office for Drug and Crimes (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
CSOs also observed that public and international confidence in the Nigerian Government was being undermined because of the lack of transparency so far in the recovery and management of assets and has resulted in the unhealthy practice of other countries imposing conditions for the repatriation to Nigeria of corruptly acquired assets held in those countries.
The Organizations commended the political will as well as the tenacity of the Government in fighting the menace of corruption and have pledged to support the Nigerian Government efforts through advocacy, citizens’ mobilization and partnership with anti-corruption agencies.
A set of activities to be implemented and targeted at CSOs in the course of 2016 were finalized and adopted at the meeting. The activities will require the financial support of UNDP to implement critical anti-corruption and transparency programmes across the Federation as well as undertake and support thematic interventions to address specific issues relating to corruption. According to the CSOs, the planned project will go a long way to improve their institutional and technical capacity especially in the areas of anti-corruption engagement and project and grants management. The projects will also help to foster synergy between the CSOs and Anti-Corruption Agencies amongst other things.