The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)has announced additional support from MacArthur Foundation for the continuation of its Corruption Anonymous project for another three years.
The CORA project, which was launched in 2017, aims at mobilizing public support for and building confidence in the whistleblowing policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.The idea is to get citizens to adopt whistleblowing as an important tool for fighting corruption in the country.
In a statement, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, Dr. Chido Onumah, said the new phase of the project would be implemented from January 2021 to December2023. He described the first three years of implementation as both exciting and challenging, focusing mainly on three areas which included creating awareness, advocating proper implementation of the policy, and ensuring effective protection for whistleblowers.
According to him, this fresh round of the project is informed by the understanding that the way to create a robust whistleblowing regime in the country and sustain whistleblowing as an effective anti-corruption tool is to getagencies of government, public as well as private institutions to key into the process and have whistleblowing mechanisms in their governance codes.
Noting that the fight against corruption is not one the government can win on its own without the input of the people, Onumah said AFRICMIL would this time round intensify mobilization of citizens to demand accountability through whistleblowing. “One of the ways we would do this is to expand media campaigns and promote institutional whistleblowing framework within the ministries, departments and agencies, revenue generating agencies, regulatory agencies, and the private sector,” he added.
He said activities over the next three years would explore the opportunities presented by the successes, including recoveries from whistleblowing, recorded in the anti-corruption efforts of the government, and advocate the strengthening and institutionalization of whistleblowing in the country. “We will critically examine the issue of protection for whistleblowers. The aim of canvassing effective protection is to prevent reluctance to make disclosures and discourage acquiescence to wrongdoing because of lack of protection for those who show the courage to blow the whistle.”
The renewed support, Onumah said, will provide AFRICMIL the opportunity to establish state whistleblower coalitions and support them in pressuring the government to respond to corruption. He said the organization would work with stakeholders to analyse the different bills that are publicly available and convene high-level consultations for anti-corruption agencies, civil society leaders and policy makers, especially legislators, to inform public and legislative debates on whistleblowing in Nigeria.
The statement said AFRICMIL would also collaborate with Foundation grantees to promote community involvement in whistleblowing, focusing on constituency projects and public procurement in six states across the country.
The organization expressed gratitude to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for its support over the years.