By Angela Atabo
The Civil Society Legislative Centre (CISLAC) and other anti-graft groups have said that the low knowledge on African Union Convention for Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) has limited the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.
They made the observation at the preliminary launch and findings of the country report on the implementation of AUCPCC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the African Union adopted the AUCPCC on July 1, 2003 and it became effective on Aug. 5, 2006.
Ms Chinwe Ndubeze, one of the Directors in the Legal Department of the EFCC said while Nigeria signed on Dec. 16, 2003 and ratified the 12 article convention on Sept. 26, 2006, the implementation and awareness had, however, been low.
“Concerned about the negative effects of corruption and impunity on the political, economic, social and cultural stability and its devastating effects on the economic and social development the African States adopted AUCPCC.
“In spite of this, many Nigerians have no knowledge of the convention on corruption.
“So, this report is an analysis of how well, or otherwise, Nigeria has complied with its obligations under AUCPCC.
“Interviews were conducted and validations sessions were held to obtain inputs from a variety of stakeholders drawn from anti-corruption agencies, media and civil society actors on the initial draft of the report, and the findings shows that the awareness level is low,” she said.
Ndubeze called on all stakeholders to join hands to push for full implementation of the convention in order to strengthen anti-corruption fight at all levels.
Similarly, the executive Director CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani said that the convention contained strong provisions that could go a long way in resolving the corruption challenges in the country.
Rafsanjani said that CISLAC launched the report findings to know the gaps that existed in the implementation of the convention and to chart the way forward on how to close those gaps.
“With the report now concluded, it identified that the level of awareness of the convention remains quite low.
“Additionally, the compliance with the provisions of the convention is also a source of concern as there is a huge room for improvement,” he said.
He urged the executive, the legislature and the judiciary to work together to ensure the convention was implemented and enforced to curb corruption in Nigeria.