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Community and religious leaders have been urged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to support the grassroots anti-corruption movement.

Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the commission's chairman, suggested that the fight be brought to the communities through encouraging integrity, openness, and responsibility among the populace.

At a workshop in Owerri on behavior change, the national ethics and integrity policy, and the constituency projects tracking program, he gave a speech.

The commission organized it for community-based civil society organizations as well as traditional and religious leaders.

All hands must be on deck for the anti-corruption campaign to be successful, according to Owasanoye, who was speaking on behalf of Sen. Anthony Agbo, the ICPC board member from the South-East.

He said that the foundation of the nation's issues, which range from insecurity to inadequate infrastructure development, is the amount of endemic corruption.

He claimed that, contrary to popular belief, active civil officials, not politicians, are responsible for the majority of corruption cases in Nigeria.

According to Owasanoye, "some of the ways corruption is propagated in the civil service and resources are misused" include budget padding and project duplication.

In order to ensure openness and accountability, he urged local and religious leaders to monitor government projects in their communities and the funding allocated for them.

He further challenged them to use their power to support the national ethics and integrity policy and bring about the desired behavioral change.

In order to stop the crisis before it worsens, the ICPC chairman also issued a challenge to further whistleblowers to identify and expose corrupt individuals.

The Imo Resident Anti-corruption Commissioner, Mr. Peter Alumbugu, urged community and religious leaders to use behavioral modification techniques to purge their communities of corrupt tendencies in a presentation.

Alumbugu further exhorted them to keep a close eye on instances of corruption and problems with transparency and to notify the anti-graft agency right once of any violations they notice.

Additionally, he recommended them to carefully examine the operational procedures used in the selection and implementation of public projects and to encourage local residents to take an active role in the monitoring of their progress.

In the implementation of public-funded projects, he claimed that the commission had taken aggressive steps to avoid and outlaw the diversion of public monies.

According to him, the endeavor had significantly improved the work of various implementing agencies, had an impact on their efforts, and had increased the number of projects that were completed according to plan.

This, according to Alumbugu, is accomplished by the collection and analysis of dubious initiatives, which are monitored and thoroughly probed, resulting in enforcement and potential criminal prosecution of those involved.

A presentation titled "Advancing the key values of the national ethics and integrity policy for behavioral change: the role of traditional and religious leaders" was also presented at the workshop.

Mrs. Chinwe Egbeocha, the presenter and an assistant director in the commission, advised audience members to adopt the policy's ideals, impart them to others, and work with the ICPC and other organizations of a like nature.

Additionally, Mrs. Maureen Oparaji, State Director of the National Orientation Agency, promised the agency's help in promoting the goals and initiatives of ICPC.

source: vanguardngr

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