The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says behavioural change is required to tackle the menace of corruption in Nigeria.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC Chairman, made the call at a one-day sensitisation on behavioural change organised for stakeholders by the commission on Tuesday in Akure.
Owasanoye, represented by Prof. Tunde Babawale, the Provost of Anti-corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) of the commission, said the workshop was to implement the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) to stimulate desirable behaviour change.
He also said that it was the right time for Nigerians to change their behaviour and strategies to address corruption-induced social norms.
The ICPC boss explained that the law and order approach to fight corruption (enforcement) alone was not enough to get rid of the menace from the society.
According to him, with the present realities facing the nation, if we do not change our behaviour, we may not be able to bring about the changes that we desire.
“It is imperative for citizens to respect the laws of the land, keep their word, do their duty with diligence, respect and value other human beings, not get involved in stealing from the government, cheating others or any form of deception.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that many people are far from the ideal.
“Therefore, there is need to make intentional efforts to turn around negative behaviours to positive ones through the inculcation of positive values.
“By using the behavioural change approach, it will save the country from an erosion of ethics and collapse of values and it will help the country reach national development goals among others,” Owasanoye said.
In his welcome address, Mr Kupolati Kayode, Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner (RACC) in Ondo State, said it was only the concerted efforts of all concerned that could make Nigeria overcome the scourge of corruption.
According to him, positive behavioural change is a catalyst to a corruption-free system which will deliver the Nigeria of our dreams where opportunities abound for citizens to achieve their potentials.
“A corruption-free Nigeria will assure our teeming youths of gainful employment and fulfilment; a corruption-free Nigeria will guarantee qualitative system, functional education, good infrastructure and economic prosperity,” he said.
Also, Mr Suleiman Achile, Head Public Enlightenment and Education Unit, ICPC, Ondo State, who presented a paper at the workshop on behavioural change, said it behoves on citizens to first and personally decide to be a person of integrity.
He also said the citizens must then join in bringing about a change in the community.
“We must shun all forms of corruption wherever we find ourselves.
“We must decide to be involved in monitoring projects, monitoring our schools, and most importantly monitoring the behaviours of children, workers and others,” he said. (NAN)