By Ben Ezeamalu*
The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria in collaboration with religious leaders and BudgIT, a civic organisation, on Wednesday launched Report Yourself, a web-based platform that empowers citizens to fight corruption in Nigeria.
The clerics, under the aegis of Religious Leaders Anti-Corruption working group, will in turn collaborate with Nigerian law enforcement agencies in the initiative.
David Young, the U.S. Chargé d’ Affaires, said the Report Yourself initiative puts the power to report corruption in the hands of the Nigerian people.
“I hope that Report Yourself starts a new movement in citizen engagement and I hope every Nigerian who is affected by corruption will feel empowered to share their experiences,” Mr. Young said.
“The tide will turn against the culture of corruption when Nigerians recognize that they must fight as one to stamp out this scourge that has hampered development and stifled prosperity.”
Stanley Achonu, Operations Manager at BudgIT, said the initiative is an opportunity to collaborate with religious leaders to monitor the level of corruption at the grassroots.
“After that meeting, the religious leaders were very keen not just to have the conversation but to also do something about the outcome of that meeting.”
The anti-corruption initiative is funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, and developed by BudgIT.
The Report Yourself initiative is expected to offer Nigerians the means to instantaneously report corruption, bribery, and graft with the option of filing an official compliant with the Nigerian Police Force Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit.
Participants at the event received a guided demonstration of the Report Yourself platform, and religious leaders, members of law enforcement, and civil society representatives renewed their commitment to fight against corruption.
“Through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, we are working to increase the capacity of Nigerian law enforcement agencies and the justice sector,” Mr. Young added.