NIGERIA: CSOs Urge Paramilitary Forces To Tackle Corruption Within, Laud FRSC

Public Conscience on Radio 

June 30, 2021.

Amid concerns of accountability, integrity, and discipline lacking amongst some paramilitary personnel, the efforts of Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, and the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammed Babandede to reduce corruption by officials under them have received commendations, as well as asked to do more against corruption amongst its personnel.

The Program Manager at Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Oluwatomi Okeowo lauded the effort of the duo during a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.

Speaking on the backdrop of video footage where Babandede was giving a stern warning to personnel of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina State against demanding or receiving bribes and extorting citizens, Okeowo hailed the stance of the immigration boss on stemming corruption in the service, while revealing that the collaboration between FRSC and Akin Fadeyi Foundation have been effective in reporting corruption by FRSC officials.

Okeowo disclosed that since the Foundation’s launch of ‘FlagIt APP’ which seeks to empower citizens to resist and report corruption in the public sector, they have received reports of over one thousand six hundred corruption cases.

Her words: “Our experience with the Federal Road Safety Corps since launching ‘FlagIt APP’ has actually been very positive from the leadership; and that’s why we need to continue to build strong leadership in Nigeria especially within the paramilitary structure, from the leadership we have had great support from the leadership of FRSC and we have also had them partnered with us very strongly on launching and implementing the APP.”

Okeowo said the App can be downloaded on Android or Apple phones from the google play store, adding that usage is simple, “You can report in a very easy manner, they ask you a few questions after which you can report; you can report both positively and negatively.”

She also stated that the Foundation is currently seeking the collaboration of over 13 government ministries, departments, and agencies to start using the FlagIt APP in fighting corruption in their organizations.

On his part, Project Assistant at Accountability Lab Nigeria, Mnenga Shiiwua stated that finding people of integrity nowadays is not just difficult in Nigeria paramilitary formations but cuts across the Nigerian public service. He added that perceptual, institutional, and procedural challenges were responsible for the low number of paramilitary personnel of integrity found in Nigeria.

Reacting to Babandede’s charge on Immigration officers against bribery and extortion, Shiiwua lamented that corruption has unfortunately become of pertinent concern to all and sundry, and negatively affected every fabric of Nigeria.

He urged Babandede and other heads of paramilitary formation to go beyond speaking tough against corruption found amongst their men but take swift and punitive actions that will deter others.

“The Comptroller General of immigration from his lamentation said he has received so many reports, so I am wondering what has happened to these reports, who are the people involved? What has he done to make sure that those people who have been involved in these acts are actually brought to book so that it goes beyond lamentation to actual actions that will serve as deterrents to those who might have the course to also default,” Shiiwua said.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria. The program is supported by the MacArthur Foundation

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