A coalition of 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) has charged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare a national commitment to the fight against corruption.
It urged Tinubu not to appoint individuals with allegations of corruption against them into any public office because it would continue to taint the image of the country.
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Head of Transparency International -Nigeria (TI-Nigeria), Malam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, read the position of the coalition, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
He said it seemed the president did not have the issue of anti-corruption as a priority in his agenda despite that corruption had eaten deeper into every sector of the nation’s society and crippling the country like an epidemic.
“From his campaigns to his manifesto, the president has not shown to Nigerians his anti-corruption agenda and clear plans on how his administration intends to fight corruption,” Rafsanjani said.
He, however, charged the president to take concrete steps to foster great judicial independence by institutionalizing real financial autonomy for the judiciary.
“President Tinubu should improve and strengthen the autonomy, independence and institutional capacity of state-level anti-corruption agencies and create better synergy between them and their counterparts at the federal level.
“There should be a constructive working relationship among executive, legislative and civil society to publish guidelines that allow for proper scrutiny of how security votes are budgeted, spent and monitored
“We further recommend that the Public Procurement Council be formed for the anti-corruption agencies and the council should embark on information sharing on procurement. We recommend support to the CCB on the digitalization of the asset declaration of public officers.
“We recommend that the National Assembly fast tracks the process of reviewing the obsolete current audit act to empower the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation in discharging his duty,” the CSOs said.
The coalition rued the failure of the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari despite riding into power under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 with the change mantra and fighting corruption as its topmost agenda.
It said the administration left with divided opinions as to whether it fulfilled its promises and achieved the anti-corruption agenda or not and that many were of the opinion that corruption had worsened in the country.