A Corruption survey report by National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) in 2017 shows that majority of Nigerians will accept a bribe when offered or pay a bribe when demanded. According to the report, only 5.3 per cent of Nigerians will either refuse to pay a bribe when asked to or refuse to accept when a bribe is offered to them. The report revealed that young people constitute the largest percentage (95 percent) who are likely to pay or receive bribe as the case may be. Interestingly, one of the most likely kind of bribe is the payment of bride for jobs in the civil service.
The report does not only release data to support the growing rate of corruption but reveals a reality that is beyond worrisome. If we consider that every year millions of young people in Nigeria look forward to being admitted to any of the over 150 private and public higher institution in Nigeria with millions graduating and hoping to be absorbed by the almost absent job market. If we consider that youth unemployment in Nigeria was at December 2017 is was 52.65% or 22.64 million according to NBS report, then we may begin to understand the dire condition we find ourselves. In the center of this is the challenge of corruption that has robbed us of good governance that meets the needs of the people with our national wealth being plundered over the years and presently. We are impoverished in a supposedly wealthy nation and have no better option than to join the movement of citizens united in the fight against corruption. YIAGA Africa in 2017 launched her #BounceCorruption project to mobilize over 20 million Nigerians in the fight against corruption and demanded for accountability.
Under the #BounceCorruption project, YIAGA has successfully launched the Public Integrity Debates in Tertiary Institutions across Nigeria as a platform for harnessing youth views into the anti-corruption crusade as well as for propagating the values of integrity, transparency and accountability. The debate competition will involve selected tertiary institutions across the six geo-political zones of the country. The national debate competition will be in 3 stages. The first stage is the preliminary (zonal), which commenced in the South South Zone, on 12 February 2018 at University of Calabar, followed by the South East Zone, on 15 February 2018 at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Anambra, at 9am prompt. Other zones will follow accordingly.
The knockout stage and the final stage will both take place in Abuja on a date to be communicated later. Schools will constitute debate teams of 2 student each (one male and one female) to participate in the competition. Incentives will be provided to winners of debate sessions. At the end of the competition the debate teams will be encouraged to establish public integrity clubs in their schools.
The Bounce Corruption project which is supported by the MacArthur Foundation is designed to complement efforts by state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption by promoting zero tolerance for corruption and impunity through effective citizen’s oversight and mobilization for accountable governance.
YIAGA Africa is a non-profit, non-governmental, civil society organization that promotes democratic governance, human rights, accountability and active youth participation in democratic processes through research, policy advocacy and capacity development.