Development dialogue series for Nigeria launched as an initiative geared towards inclusive public engagement

January 22, 2020

Development Dialogue Series: Relationship between corruption and development. Panelists from left Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative to Nigeria, Prof. Mushtaq Khan, SOAS University of London, and Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Evidence Research Consortium; William Tsuma Peace and Governance Expert, UNDP Nigeria; and, Rev. David Ugolor Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and Coordinator of ANEEJ Centre for the Study of Corruption with the moderator and anchor of the television segment: Maupe Ogun-Yusuf, ChannelsTV and Terry Ikumi, Producer ChannelsTV

Abuja, January 22, 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the development dialogue series for Nigeria aimed supporting conversations that can constructively inform policy options, strengthen national dialogue; support political and governance reforms; enhance the rule of law mechanisms and gender equality; as well as encourage investment in young people, among others. Currently, there are several ongoing development dialogue platforms at sectoral and thematic levels. To strengthen coordination and sharing of information, across sectors and geographical regions, UNDP hopes to offer a national platform for conceivable ideas that are inclusive and dynamic; making interventions more people-centered and impactful.

"By bringing together thought leaders across various sectors from Nigeria and globally for candid conversations, this platform presents a unique opportunity to enhance inclusivity and strengthen public engagement. We hope discussions will support Nigeria to rethink development and fast-track the delivery of the SDGs," said Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Nigeria, Resident Representative.

To kick off the initiative, UNDP in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organised the first edition of the dialogues, focused on the relationship between corruption and development. The discussions held in two parts - a televised segment and High-Level symposium featured prominent personalities drawn from Nigeria and globally explored how countries can accelerate governance and sectoral reforms to advance anti-corruption efforts for sustainable development.

While corruption is not not unique to a particular society; it is a major blockage to service delivery and a threat to human development as denies people of opportunities, exacerbates poverty and inequality; disproportionately impacts the poor, marginalised and the vulnerable groups. The conversation was therefore hailed as a timely for Nigeria, as President Buhari has identified fighting corruption, as one of his government's policy priorities.

"In Nigeria, we need to get more conscious of the needs of the absolute majority - who are the young people. We need to make sure that our anti-corruption efforts are targeting specific problems that concern this group of the population such a corruption in public sector recruitment," said Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative to Nigeria

The dialogue televised through ChannelsTV provided opportunities for members of the public to share multi-dimensional perspectives from the cost of corruption, public sensitisation on corruption to how the government of Nigeria can formulate appropriate policies and strategies to strengthen the country's fight against the scourge.

UNDP views corruption as a governance deficit. Thus, promotion of good governance characterised by the rule of law, transparency, accountability, integrity, participation, inclusion, effectiveness and efficiency, is vital in advancing anti-corruption efforts. That is why UNDP supports members states in integrating and mainstreaming anti-corruption in the national development plans, policies and strategies.

At the afternoon symposium, representatives from government, UN, private sector, civil society, academia, think-tanks, diplomatic corps and other key stakeholders were challenged to tackle corruption from a sectoral perspective. To interrogate the issues ailing these sectors then look beyond knowing the types of corruption by asking what kind of anti-corruption efforts makes sense and enforcement of the same.