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Tinubu’s Anti-Corruption Agenda: What Does It Entail?



Jide Ojo
Last week, I attended the fourth edition of the Annual Kano Social Influencers Summit, #Kansis23, in Kano. This summit provided a platform for various speakers to discuss topics related to corruption and accountability. The event, organized by the Centre for Information Technology and Development, was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and other partners. Notable speakers included Maryam Uwais, the Executive Director of Primera Africa Legal, who spoke about gender corruption and accountability, and Dr Bala Muhammed, a scholar in the Department of Mass Communication at Bayero University, Kano, who presented on social media uses. The event attracted academics, students, media practitioners, traditional leaders, and other influencers.

During my visit to Kano, I had the opportunity to explore the local culture and visit places like Bayero University, Kannywood (the local film industry), and the Yusuf Maitama Sule University where the summit took place. It is worth mentioning that the state has seen improvements in its social infrastructure since my last visit in 2020.

Corruption, as described by Investopedia, refers to dishonest behavior by individuals or organizations in positions of power. Transparency International defines it as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Exposing and addressing corruption is crucial for social, economic, and political development. Unfortunately, Nigeria has performed poorly in this regard, ranking 150th out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index of 2022. Corruption takes various forms, including bribery, fraud, abuse of office, and favoritism.

Since 1999, successive administrations in Nigeria have made efforts to combat corruption. The establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission in 2001 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2003 were notable steps taken by the Olusegun Obasanjo government. Subsequent administrations introduced various reforms, such as the Electoral Reform Committee set up by Umaru Yar’Adua, which led to improvements in the electoral process. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration implemented initiatives like the Treasury Single Account and the Whistleblower Policy. Muhammadu Buhari continued these efforts and passed anti-corruption legislation.

As part of his Renewed Hope Agenda, President Bola Tinubu aims to tackle corruption. However, there have been controversies surrounding the leadership changes in the anti-corruption agencies, such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It is important for Tinubu’s administration to prioritize the fight against corruption by ensuring the proper leadership and resourcing of these agencies. Electoral reform, protection for whistleblowers, and strengthening the Code of Conduct Bureau should also be on the agenda.

Recently, Ola Olukoyede and Mohammed Hamajoda were confirmed as the new chairman and secretary of the EFCC, respectively. While there were concerns about the chairman’s experience, it is hoped that he can avoid the challenges faced by previous chairmen. Another positive appointment made by President Tinubu was that of Mr. Shaakaa Chira as the substantive Auditor-General of the Federation. This position has been vacant for about 18 months and plays a crucial role in anti-corruption efforts.

To effectively combat corruption, President Tinubu should focus on electoral reforms, whistleblower protection, and adequate resourcing of anti-corruption agencies, including the Code of Conduct Bureau.