Changemaker: Francis Anyaegbu
Nigeria as a country ranks among one of the most corrupt countries in the world according to the reports of global anti-corruption watchdog- Transparency International. The problem appears endemic and to have eaten deep into the fabrics of the populace and cutting across different age range and social strata in the society. It is heart-warming to note that successive Governments have continued to make attempts at curtailing the situation, though with significant progress across various sectors, but it still largely remains a herculean task to achieve. However with modest youth led projects focusing on the over arching theme, it is anticipated that this malaise would be addressed. It is within this context that ‘Project Live Right’ was created with the main goal of engaging young people in active campaign against corruption. The project will not only focus on Students or youths, but also on local community officials, civil servants, local authorities and government institutions. It is anticipated that this will create an inter-generational approach to solving corruption and also strengthen the fight against corruption in Nigeria through the engagement of young people. The project will include a number of anti-corruption actions, but will concentrate mainly on Essay and forums and the effective utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). It is expected that about 150 schools and as well as over 300 Youths from youth organisations and groups will participate directly in this project in three states across Nigeria and also indirectly reach a significant portion of Nigerian Youths. Secondary School Students will be expected to participate in the Inter-school Essay Competitions in partnership with Ministries of Education and Education Districts in each state and select youths will gather for an Anti-corruption Youth forum that will include breakout sessions and hands-on training sessions with keynote Speakers drawn from various anti-corruption watch dog agencies, International development partners, non-governmental organisations, allied Ministries and government agencies. Participants would be encouraged to cascade the knowledge gotten from the programme to others and the formation of anti-corruption clubs will also be encouraged. The online component will involve the creation of a website for the project. This would be interactive in nature and also serve as a youth hub for anti-corruption issues. It will possess the following features. An ‘How to do’ section– which would provide tools and resources such as budget tracking tools, citizen journalism amongst others. In addition, a section to upload messages, pictures, videos and posters that addresses or reports any form of corruption with locations and other relevant details across the 774 local government area councils and thirty-six states including the Federal capital territory. This would be forwarded weekly to the major anti-corruption watch dog agencies in Nigeria. In addition, a key feature of the website will be the publication of monthly allocation of monies published by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance. This will enable young people to keep track or monitor budgetary allocations to their respective local government councils and States. In addition, winners of the essay competition from each state will receive prizes and also have their essays published on the Project website. The “Live Right” Project recognises that young people across Nigeria can play a major role in the fight against corruption. Therefore there is a need to equip them with the right skills set and resources in order to make them resourced and furnished with innovative tools in their fight against corruption. It is our broader vision that young people can be effectively engaged in the dissemination of information on corruption thereby tackling the problem of corruption within their individual communities.