Nigeria’s anti-corruption stakeholders gathered today at the U.S. Embassy and discussed efforts to tackle corruption in the country. The roundtable was chaired by Professor Chidi Odinkalu, senior member of the Nigerian Bar and head of the Open Society Justice Initiative with government officials and representatives of civil society in attendance.
U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission David Young welcomed the roundtable participants and said the United States is encouraged to see representatives from the legislature, judiciary, strategic government departments, anti-corruption agencies and civil society on the panel and in the audience.
He hoped the roundtable will result in a frank and honest dialogue to evaluate progress in the fight against corruption and the impact of corruption on Nigeria’s sustainable development goals. “We celebrate the U.S. and Nigeria’s strong partnership in the efforts to eliminate corruption and improve government accountability and transparency and hope that today’s event positively contributes to our ongoing efforts,” he said.
Mr. Young congratulated Nigeria on joining the Open Government Partnership and submitting its first National Action Plan.
The Open Government Partnership was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. It now includes 70 participating countries.
Professor Humphrey Asobie from the University of Nigeria and former Chairman of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) delivered the keynote address, urging all anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary to be more truthful and transparent in their dealings with the public.
Other panelists at the roundtable included Femi Falana, a senior member of the Nigerian Bar, representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Court of Appeal, House Anti-Corruption Committee, and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Tomorrow, U.S. Embassy Abuja is collaborating with the Government of Nigeria, the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to commemorate the U.N. General Assembly’s adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The event will feature panel discussions on the topics of “Preventing Corruption: Closing the doors to illicit activities” and: “Reducing Impunity: Recovery of Proceeds of Crime for Sustainable Development.”