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UNILAG Wins 2021 Bounce Corruption National Debate Competition

One of Nigeria’s leading civil society organisations, Yiaga Africa, is co-opting students to rid Nigeria of corruption.

Through the National Debate Competition, Yiaga Africa is stimulating public discourse on anti-corruption, accountability, and transparency..

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The initiative is designed to give young people the platform to amplify their voice against endemic corruption in the country.

FCT, Abuja – Foremost civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa, on Tuesday, July 13 disclosed that Nigeria has lost at least $582 billion since independence due to endemic corruption.

Cynthia Mbamalu, Director of Programmes of the organisation, revealed this at the Bounce Corruption National University Debate Competition on Anti-Corruption attended by a reporter in Abuja. gathered that the competition which is organised by Yiaga Africa is with support from Mac Arthur Foundation and in partnership with the All Nigeria Universities Debate Championship.

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Mbamalu further disclosed that about N1.3 trillion of public funds was reportedly laundered between 2011 and 2015 alone.

Why Yiaga Africa is organising the debate
She said the debate was designed to complement efforts by state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption by promoting zero tolerance for graft and impunity through effective citizen’s oversight and mobilisation for accountable governance.

He words:

“A December 2019 report by the National Bureau of Statistics on the patterns and trends of corruption in Nigeria revealed that young people are most likely to give or receive bribes, with at least 60 percent admitting to having given bribes.
“As such, it has become important to engage young Nigerians on how to fight corruption and enshrine integrity, accountability, and transparency into the fabric of our society, and in our public and private sectors.
“As the group that suffers most from the effects of corruption, young people can be instrumental in the fight against corruption in Nigeria and using peer influence to spread values of transparency and accountability.”
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Need for citizens to get involved in the anti-corruption fight
On his part, the National Union of Campus Journalists secretary, Uchenna Igwe, lamented that the menace was destroying most things necessary for human and capital development and confining the people to the most desperate levels of poverty.

According to Igwe, corruption is the main reason why Nigeria struggles to feed and provide jobs for its citizens, as the cost of living continues on a steady rise.

He added:

“The government has put in place measures to anti-corruption. However, there’s an urgent need for citizens to get involved.”

The competitors were drawn from universities in the six geo-political zones, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; University of Lagos, University of Benin, Bayero University, Kano, University of Maiduguri, and the University of Jos.

At the end of the exercise, the team from the University of Lagos won the competition.

Recall that in 2017, a group of young Nigerians with the moniker Team LaunchPad won the final of the Bounce Corruption #Hack4Good competition in Abuja.

Team LaunchPad defeated 9 other teams at the grand finale to emerge winner of the competition which showcased the brilliant works of amazing innovators with innovations to track corruption cases, track asset declaration, and educate Nigerians on anti-corruption.

Team Launchpad won the contest with its WikiRuption App pitch which can be used to get information about corruption and how the cases are being tackled.

In 2018, two students representing the University of Ilorin emerged winners of the Bounce Corruption public integrity debate organized by Yiaga Africa.

The two UniIlorin undergraduates which comprised a female and a male defeated 8 other universities that participated in the debate.

The University of Ilorin won the debate with the University of Lagos coming as the first runner up, the Federal University of Technology as the second runner up, and the University of Calabar coming in as the third runner up.


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