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West African regional anti-corruption network recommends modalities for corruption risk assessment training
Abuja, 2nd May 2019. The Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) has recommended a series of measures to aid the development of faculties for training on Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) in Member States.

At the end of their Two-Day consultative meeting which ended recently in Abuja, Nigeria, delegates noted the increasing disrespect of integrity principles and prevalence of corruption perception in public service sector across Member States and called for the reinforcement of anti-corruption measures in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the various governments in the region in order to mitigate the prevalence of corruption.

Panel discussions during the consultative meeting, featured presentations on the promotion of integrity governance in public service delivery in Member States, the CRA as a veritable tool for promoting integrity governance and public service delivery, the role of anti-corruption agencies in conducting CRA as well as strategies and modalities for its establishment in Member States, among others.

The body of recommendations emanating from the meeting stated NACIMA’s support of continuous sensitization and civic education on the consequence of corruption both for the general population and the youth in particular owing to their involvement in cybercrimes.

They also recommended preventive anti-corruption measures as well as the dissemination of integrity mechanisms such as standard operating procedure, code of conduct, to the public in order to deepen the promotion of transparency, accountability in public sector.

The NACIWA officials stressed the need for the fight against corruption to be decentralized into local and community levels in order to engage local stakeholders in monitoring the provision of public service and ensuring transparency and accountability in governance process at the local level.

They also recommended the expansion by the ECOWAS Authority, of the jurisdiction of the Community Court of Justice to include criminal cases relating to corruption due to the increasing trans-border nature of corrupt practices and prevalence of corruption in the region.

In the same vein, they called for an ECOWAS-NACIMA collaboration for “Good Offices Mission” in order to engage political authorities on the need to adopt CRA as a regional standard to deepen preventive approach in the fight against corruption, this being in addition to working in partnership to solicit their support for the acceptance and implementation of CRA in Member States.

Specifically, NACIWA urged the ECOWAS Commission to prevail on governments in Member States to respect and guarantee full autonomy of anti-corruption agencies and to ensure financial autonomy to enable these agencies carry-out their mandates and responsibilities effectively.

On the role of Anti-Corruption Agencies in conducting Corruption Risk Assessment in Member States, they recommended that the agencies, in collaboration with ECOWAS and the CSOs should “undertake region-wide and in-country advocacy for the institutionalization of CRA in MDAs that have direct impact on Community citizen human development”

With regards to strategies and Modalities for establishing Corruption Risk Assessment Faculties in Member States, the NACIWA chiefs stressed the need to put in place measure such as enabling legal and policy framework and robust curriculum in order to have the desirable CRA training centres. In this wise, they also called for significant budgetary investment in the fight against corruption in Member States.

The coordination among the various stakeholders involved in the execution of CRA was emphasized just as CRA processes are to be coordinated by the regional anti-corruption agencies just as inter-agency synergy among sister anti-corruption bodies and other key government agencies like the National Bureau of Statistics is to be prioritized to ensure effective and comprehensive implementation of CRA in Member States.

Relating to the strengthening of preventive approach to the fight against corruption and the development of a regional response, they urged the support of NACIWA by ECOWAS, in the training and implementation of CRA in Member States as well as the adoption of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) as a reference Centre of excellence to accompany ECOWAS and NACIWA in the process of implementing CRA in Member States.

They also implored the ECOWAS Commission to further engage with the Breton-Woods institutions like the World Bank and other International donor organizations to solicit for fund in the implementation of CRA across Member States.

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