By Solomon Akaniyene, Uyo
The Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria, Cristina Albertin, has urged the Federal Government to focus more on prevention of corruption in its fight against the scourge.
Speaking during a workshop on corruption prevention for Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) in Calabar on Monday, she said it was also pertinent to involve the private sector in the fight against corruption.
“I think there is a solid foundation for anti-corruption work in Nigeria because there are lots of institutions that work on anti-corruption. I think focus has been very much on law enforcement and criminal justice response, and I think it is time to give more time to the prevention of corruption.
“The war on corruption shall also involve the private sector, especially on public procurement that uses private sector. And it also has to deal with transparency and accountability of budgets in the involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that can help in setting up transparency measures.
“We are hosting the workshop together with anti-corruption agencies on corruption prevention and it is happening within a project that we have with the government of Nigeria, the European Union and UNODC.
“UNODC is providing comprehensive assistance to 14 agencies in Nigeria on anti-corruption in the framework of the United Nations Convention against corruption. That is a convention that sets out a comprehensive set of measures against corruption, which includes criminalization, and penalization of corrupt offences.
“We render assistance to Nigerian Government in a series of areas in line with our mandate under this regard to drug control, anti human trafficking, combatting smuggling of migrants, counter terrorism, HIV prevention and prevention of corruption,” she said.