Corruption is derived from a Latin word “corruptus” which means to break or destroy. Literally, corruption means to break away or depart from morality, ethics and civic virtues for personal gains. Oxford dictionary defines corruption as dishonesty and Black’s Law Dictionary defines corruption as the act of doing something with an intent to give advantage inconsistent with official duty and the right of office, a fiduciary or official use of a situation or office to procure some benefits either personally or for someone contrary to duty and rights of others.
Where there is a departure from principles, values, decency, regulations, honesty, integrity, law, public opinion, merit and quality; the resulting effect would be intolerance, poverty and a departure from what is good and right amongst other things. Furthermore, abuse of power and public office for personal gain would be the order of the day.
Corruption is huge amongst all the challenges in Nigeria. It has eaten deep into the core of the Nigerian society such that every sector is dreadfully involved and every citizen of Nigeria feels the effect of corruption.
It undermines the national development thus threatening the survival of a nation. Nigeria is also perceived as a corrupt and dubious nation therefore; we are unable to attract meaningful investment and developmental co-operation. Transparency International in the latest edition of its Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Nigeria 148h corrupt nation in the world out of 176 countries surveyed.
As part of the efforts to address some of the aforementioned challenges, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from the Transparency International (TI) Secretariat in Berlin is implementing the Integrity, Mobilization, Participation, Accountability, Anti-corruption and Transparency (IMPACT Nigeria) project to empower citizens to advocate for change in policy and practice, protect their rights to social services and become part of the anti- corruption efforts.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with National Orientation Agency (NOA) with support from Transparency International (TI) and Global Affairs Canada has compiled this insightful charter of commitment. It is hoped that this charter of commitments would be a useful advocacy tool to relevant stakeholders in engaging young people to join the fight against corruption.
The Charter of Commitment is meant to encourage young people who represent the next generation and future of Nigeria to shun corrupt practices carried out in their schools and communities. It also seeks to empower them to demand accountability and transparency while ensuring that they show integrity in their conduct. By signing the charter, they will be showing their sincere commitment to the fight against corruption.
Public perception and participation plays a large role in shaping the future of corruption in Nigeria today. If the Nigerians say NO to corruption and actively dedicate themselves to doing the right thing and demanding accountability, transparency and integrity from leaders, we would gradually begin to witness positive change.
This charter of commitment is one of such initiatives that is void of any imprint of politics or political movement but an instrument for advocacy to be used to empower the next generation of Nigerians to get involved in the process of governance and commit to the efforts of ridding Nigeria of corruption and making it a better nation thereby restoring our pride amongst nations of the world as the Giant of Africa.