Thursday, 30 January 2020

AFRICMIL holds workshop on whistle blowing in Calabar

Kelvin Obambon|30 January 2020 

CALABAR —The African Center for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has held a one-day capacity building workshop on whistle blowing and the fight against corruption for community based organizations NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively.

The workshop, which was held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital on Thursday, had participants drawn from civil society organizations, government agencies and media establishments.

The capacity building workshop was aimed at creating awareness and equipping participants with basic knowledge of the federal government whistle blower's policy, so as to be better informed and become drivers of the policy themselves, thus stepping it down to the community level for social action.

Heads of anti graft agencies in the state, who took turns to address participants, unanimously called for a concerted effort from everyone to ensure that the tide of corruption in the country is stemmed to the bearest minimum.

In her presentation, state director of the National Orientation Agency, Mrs Florence Osang, decried the level of malaise in the society, attributing it to high level of negligence in the family as the basic unit for the acquisition and impartation of moral values.

Mrs Osang, whose presentation was more like a sermon, charged parents to rise up to their responsibilities by bringing up their children in a way and manner that is most acceptable, saying through this, "the level of decadence in the society can be addressed."

While lauding the organizers of the workshop, the NOA boss said that the whistle blower policy of the federal government was a commendable initiative. She urged everyone who is patriotic to the nation to key into the policy in order to address the issue of corruption in the country.

Also speaking, an official from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mr Larry Abuo, stated that the commission is statutorily empowered to investigate and prosecute persons suspected or involved in corrupt practices.

Abuo said that the commission over the years, has actively involved in the fight against all forms of corruption in the country and has recorded significant milestone.

He described whistle blowing as an act of exposing an unethical information through the media, government agencies or civil society organizations.

He said though the national policy on whistle blowing was yet to be enacted into law, the ICPC had put in place adequate modalities to protect whistle blowers from threats.

Abuo further added that under the policy, the corruption watchdog had recorded several achievements, including the recovery of over N12 billion in cash and assets in 2019.

Similarly, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, while making his presentation, said that beyond investigation, arrest and prosecution, the commission is mandated to prevent corruption in the country.

Magu, who was represented by Mrs Theresa Nwosu, head public affairs, Uyo zonal office of the commission, averred that the whistle blower policy is an active and participatory approach towards preventing corruption.

He maintained that the fight against corruption is everyone's responsibility and therefore called on people to always report suspected cases to the commission for appropriate action. He however stressed on the need to volunteer only genuine information, saying false information can land the whistle blower in trouble.

The Code of Conduct Bureau was however not left out, as the state director, Mr. Sam Ngeri, made a demonstrative and thought provoking presentation.

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