COMMUNIQUE AND STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT

We, the Chairmen/Chief Executives/Representatives of Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Justice, as well as, the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Central Bank of Nigeria, Code of Conduct Bureau, Corporate Affairs Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Nigeria Police Force, Public Complaints Commission, the National Council of Women's Societies - Nigeria,  the Zero Corruption Coalition, the Integrity Organisation, and the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms;

Gathered together at the second Inter-Agency Retreat on The National Strategy to Combat Corruption in Kaduna from 14 th-17 th June 2010 to discuss, review and assess efforts made at implementing the commitments reached at the first Inter-Agency Retreat held in Kaduna from 25 th-27 th May 2009 with a major objective of developing a National Strategy Document to combat corruption.

Concerned about the enormity of the problem of corruption, the drawbacks it has on the polity and the effect of the absence of holistic strategic plan in combating the phenomenon, the stakeholder group reached a consensus on the following:

1.      The need for robust internal and external assessment mechanisms within Law Enforcement, Regulatory and other Anti-corruption agencies;

2.      Collaboration and coordination of efforts among agencies for:

a.      Joint investigation, and where possible and appropriate, joint prosecution;

b.      Joint trainings/capacity building of staff within agencies on issues of common interest;

c.       Joint public enlightenment and engagement;

d.      the development of a criminal database and information sharing;

3.      Ensuring the review and passage of relevant laws;

a.      Review of the Evidence Act to enhance admissibility of cyber evidence amongst others;

b.      Passage of the Freedom of Information Bill into Law

c.       The urgent need to put in place a whistleblower and witness protection mechanism pending the passage of the bill into law, and

d.      Speedy passage of the Non-Conviction Based Asset Forfeiture Bill.

4.      The importance of fully domesticating the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and other international conventions such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the ECOWAS Protocol on the Fight against Corruption; to facilitate and strengthen the fight against corruption at National, State, and Local levels;

5.      The need for a transformational leadership;

6.      The need to evolve strategies for breaking up collusion that foster corruption;

7.      That improved public confidence in reliable and effective law enforcement, consisting of effective investigation, efficient prosecution, speedy adjudication and appropriate sanction is key to the ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENDA.

8.      The necessity to institute a regime of preventive measures across public institutions which will increase the capacity of such institutions to prevent corruption in the short, medium and long term;

9.      The need for transparent criteria in the appointment and security of tenure of Heads of Agencies and members of the governing boards of anti-corruption agencies, as well as the need for representatives of civil society and the media to form part of such boards;

10. That professional groups such as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) are critical partners in the effort to combat corruption, and calls on the NBA and other Professional bodies to address the issue of professional ethics and conduct of their members;

11. Enjoins the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms (TUGAR) to continue its work in coordinating the Inter Agency Task Team (IATT);

12. Given the current situation where accused persons are still retained in their posts and continue to have access to paraphernalia of office and the danger it poses to the safety of prosecutors and investigators, the Inter Agency Task Team therefore calls on the Public Service Institutions to enforce the rules on interdiction of Public Officers being tried for corruption related offences.

Acknowledge the decision of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to raise a council memo on the National Strategy, and hereby pray His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to direct that funding for the development and implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Corruption be drawn from the Reform Vote provided by the Federal Government. It should be noted that the anti-corruption reform is one of the constituents of the ongoing public service reforms.

Express appreciation to TUGAR for hosting and coordinating the Inter-Agency Retreat and to our Partners - European Union (EU) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) - for their financial and technical support.

 

Kaduna, 17 th June 2010