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Sagay Leads Buhari’s Advisory Committee On Corruption

• As Ford Foundation, Others Raise $5M to fight Corruption in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has consfifated An Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, a professor of law and civil rights activist.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday released names of members of his Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, a prominent professor of law and civil rights activist. This is just as government also yesterday said Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and another group, Open Society Foundation have set aside the sum of $5million to help the current administration fight corruption in Nigeria.

According to a Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the Committee’s brief is to advise the present administration on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

Other members of the Committee which is also expected to develop comprehensive interventions for achieving recommended reforms include, Prof. Femi Odekunle Professor of Criminology, Ahmadu Bello University, Dr. (Mrs) Benedicta Daudu Associate Professor of International Law, University of Jos and Prof. E. Alemika Professor of Sociology, University of Jos .

Others include Professor Sadiq Radda ,Professor of Criminology, Bayero University, Kano, Hadiza Bala Usman, Civil Society Activist, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, who will also serve as Executive Secretary of the Committee “In support of the Federal Government’s efforts, an Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Reform Fund has been established by three international development partners namely the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Open Society Foundation”

“The $5 million fund is to assist implementation of key components of the Action Plan and the work of the Presidential Advisory Committee.” “The fund will be managed by Trust Africa, an international development Civil Society Organisation with programme presence in more than 25 African Countries. The President also in Abuja charged government agencies to harmonize the collection and usage of biometric data in the country, instead of replicating their efforts in this regard.

After receiving a briefing on the activities of the National Population Commission from the Chairman, Eze Duru Iheoma (SAN), who led other National Commissioners to the Presidential Villa, President Buhari wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data, when such data could easily be shared. “It will be more cost effective if you work together.

It helps even the credibility of the election process, as Nigerians of voting age can be identified easily,” the President said. Government organisations that currently collect biometric data include the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission, among others.

President Buhari added that all the agencies should work collaboratively, instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country. Eze Duru Iheoma had briefed the President on what will be required for the commission to conduct a national census next year, 10 years after the last exercise, as stipulated by the United Nations.

A national population census, the chairman said, would cost about N273 billion, while about N10 billion of the amount would be needed immediately. He told the President that a biometric-based census was being proposed because it will eliminate multiple respondents, and ghost respondents, while making the outcome easy to audit.


-Tony Ailemen, Abuja

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