Economy Headline News Nigeria

Stakeholders adopt behavioral science approach to curb corruption

Stakeholders in the fight against corruption have resolved to adopt behavioral science in ensuring transparency and accountability to address corruption in both private and public sectors of the country.

They made the call in Abuja during a special panel session on “Harnessing Behavioral Insights to Counter Corruption” organized by the Policy Innovation Centre, PIC on the sidelines of Nigerian Economic Summit 28 (NES 28).

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mrs. Olubukola Balogun, one of the panelists and a board member stressed the need to move from criminal justice approach to harnessing behavioral change to tackle fraudulent activities in all sectors and strata of society.

”There are sanctions, and systems studies but everything has to be driven by society because even if you have your sanctions, you have your system it is the society that will make tools work. So that is why we want to work on society with the help of our development partners”, Olubukola explained.

The Deputy Director, of the Policy Innovation Centre, Dr. Osasiyi Dirisu, said the program was to enlighten public and private organizations on the different dimensions of use of behavioral science to address corrupt practices and improve accountability and transparency in Nigeria.

“We sat down together with CSOs, NGOs, and Government MDAs and we supported them to begin to think differently about interventions that will work for accountability and transparency and the next phase is to work with organizations to design solutions that they will go back to implement in the society using lessons from behavioral science that reflects on some of those solutions. We will test them and see which one’s work and begin to support best practice for accountability and transparency programmes in Nigeria,” she said.

Poverty Alleviation

In another panel discussion on ”Multi-Dimensional Poverty”, stakeholders at national and state levels were advised to align national plan and interventions with multi-dimensional poverty index to achieve the required impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all sectors of the economy.

The Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran said data from the National Poverty Index (NPI) would guide government to make impactful interventions to reduce poverty in all dimensions.

Prince Adeyemi further explained that the NPI would also help the government to unify the MDAs to work together to address the issues in different sectors such as the gender inequality index, and the proportion of youths in poverty as well as complement money ventures.

“Addressing the issue of multidimensional poverty, government is looking at both the federal and state in terms of health, nutrition, Productivity, Nigerian youths in general. Putting these together and looking at the Nigerian National Development plan 2021-2025, where government has indicated passion to lift 34 million Nigerians out of poverty by the 2025. All these are geared towards eradicating multidimensional poverty by government.

On her part, the UNICEF Deputy Country Representative to Nigeria, Rushman Murtaza said the multidimensional poverty Index date would provide evidence data to re-strategize investments for children in Nigeria

“With the multi-dimensional poverty index, we have introduced and invested in a chapter to see what happens to a child within a household. The children whether they are having education, healthcare and other deprivation they are facing. It is a critical path that will give us understanding of what is happening in the states of the situation of children, then accordingly we can then do the investment” she said   

Another panelists and Director Flour Mills Nigeria, Mr. Sadiq Usman linked poverty in Nigeria to global forces such as Russia/Ukrainian war, which he said had affected global market and commodities and resulted to food insecurity.

He further said the only way to tackle poverty in the country was through creation of economic opportunities for people through skills and the adoption of a private centre approach in creating job opportunities.

Reporting by Aziztu, Editing by Marian Benjmain and Annabel Nwachukwu