By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has trained no fewer than 250 of its citizen’s mobilization platform, National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC) in fighting against corruption.
Speaking at a day mandatory training programme, in Akure, Ondo state capital, on Thursday, the Chairman of ICPC, Professor. Bolaji Owasanoye said NAVC which was conceived as the corps of a critical mass of volunteers would be the foot soldiers nationwide in the fight against corruption.
Owasanoye, who was represented by the Assistant Director, ICPC, Mrs. Patience Osayi said the volunteer corps, as one of the anti-corruption tools aimed at giving Nigerians interested in the anti-corruption campaign the opportunity of joining as volunteers, has been re-branded and restructured in such a way that there would be checks and safeguards at the local government, state and national levels.
In a paper presented during the mandatory training programme, Mrs. Osayi, who is also the National Secretary, NAVC, said the mission for establishing the Corps was to create opportunities for partnership with individuals and groups towards the eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
She said, “Before the establishment of the commission, Nigeria had been stigmatized by the international community as being very corrupt. This was because there had been several failed campaigns in the past to wipe out corruption or reduce it to a tolerable level.
On the commission mandates, the ICPC Assistant Director said, “Is to receive and invest any report of the conspiracy or attempt to commit or the commission of an offence in relation to corrupt practices and in appropriate cases to prosecute them.
“To educate the public on and against bribery, corruption and other related offences”.
Speaking in the same vein, the state Coordinator, NAVC, Ondo state chapter, Mr. Gbenga Akinbobola said members are being trained in order to perform their expected functions stressing that their assessment should be done on yearly basis.
According to him, this assessment would enable the bad eggs to be removed.
Mr. Akinbobola said, “NAVC provides an opportunity for collaboration with individuals and organised groups, including professional bodies toward eradicating corruption in Nigeria.
“The new NAVC will develop a corps of volunteers for community service against corruption, mobilise and educate the citizens on corruption and its ills”.
“Despite unfavourable economy situation in our society, members still having strong passion for the fight against corruption. This is displayed by members in the state, putting resources together in making the activities of NAVC a success always.
“Though NAVC is not a paid job, yet enthusiasm of people here in fighting this menace called corruption is very high. This is an indication that if necessary actions and supports are giving, corruption will soon be things of the past”.
Akinbobola however on behalf of the National Coordinator of NAVC, Mr. Mike Sowe called on volunteers to ensure full adherence to the operational guidelines of the corps.
One of the trainees, Mr. Akinsola Akintan, who spoke with journalists, assured the Commission of his readiness to work according to operational guidelines of the NAVC.
The training witnessed the unveiling of operational guidelines and training manuals for the anti-corruption volunteers across all 18 local government areas of Ondo state.
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