The Akin Fadeyi Foundation, a nongovernmental organization, in conjunction with MacArthur Foundation, has launched a web application, Flagit, for the purpose of reporting incidents of corruption to relevant anti-graft agencies in the country for prompt action.
With the new app, which can now be downloaded on Google store, Nigerians can now report corruption issues from the comfort of their mobile phones. The app can also be used to report positive feedback regarding the fight against corruption, a major affliction that has been wasting away the progress of the country for years.
Launching the mobile app in Abuja, the nation’s capital, recently, Akin Fadeyi, founder, in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC), had said: “it is not enough to complain about corruption. Now, you can take action against corruption right from your phone.”
Continuing, he said, “FlagIt was borne out of the desire to ensure transparency and accountability becomes the standard in government agencies. With FlagIt, you have direct access to make complaints or reports and also get prompt feedback.”
Fadeyi said Nigerians suffer because they have been battered from a social deficit system occasioned by inept, corrupt and unaccountable leadership. According to him, burdensome leadership emanates from the nation’s systemic decay.
“If we got it right, citizens would live a decent, averagely remarkable life. I have been a victim of bad eggs in leadership positions. You have been, our students in schools have been. The pregnant women attending public hospitals are victims. All of us…all of us!
“I have also encountered ingenious acts of corruption. Most who criticize bad leadership are not what they claim to be. In their exclusive proclivities, they are worse than graveyard dregs. They are hypocrites, whited Sepulchral agents and janus-faced integrity saboteurs. And they are everywhere, Ministries, private sector, hospitals, schools, marriage registries, local governments and public institutions.”
But “we can make Nigeria better, he said, affirming “just imagine this, from the convenience of your mobile device, you can report corruption and expect that the offender will be brought to book. Imagine as we make more progress driving institutional partnerships, you can walk into government establishments and expect fair treatments and service delivery because public officials are conscious you could call out their corrupt conducts on FLAG’IT App.”
“This is what FLAG’IT App will empower you to do. This is why we’re launching FLAG’IT. Every citizen has a right to decent living, and we can achieve this once we’re able to curb corruption. We will gradually evolve into a society that produces citizens whose consciousness have been awakened to value transparency and accountability.”
In Nigeria, fighting corruption is dangerous and can be very turbulent. Apologies to former Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo Iweala. Fadeyi understands this and he says ” we don’t live with such delusion of grandeur that it will be smooth, or that we will get it right from get go. No, we are not perfect. There might be turbulence in our takeoff…but please walk with us as we walk our talk. We promised this App, we are delivering it today as we unveil it to Nigerians and the media in Abuja.”
Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the app, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Fatima Waziri- Azi, Special Adviser to the President on the Rule of Law, Office of the Vice President, said ”no matter the level of wealth a nation has, its people may never reap the benefits if corruption is not tackled effectively.”
Corroborating the position of the Vice President, Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshall of the FRSC, said for Nigeria to be great, corruption must be tackled headlong, saying the FRSC decided to partner Akin Fadeyi Foundation to launch Flagit so the agency could use it to rid itself of corrupt practices.
Over the years, especially since the return of the country to civil rule in 1999, there have been several efforts to fight corruption. Such efforts led to the creation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission(ICPC), Single Treasury Account(TSA), Whistleblowing Policy, among several interventions. It is noteworthy, however, that in spite of the aforementioned efforts, corruption still remains a critical malaise that permeates every fibre of the country, be it private or public sector.
Public commentators are of the opinion that with the coming of FlagIt, tracking and fighting corruption can now be made easier and faster since issues of corruption can now be reported without tears, delay and stress using the mobile app at one’s convenience without any fear of harassment or intimidation.
Meanwhile, Cole Adebayo, one of the earliest users to download FlagIt on his mobile phone, commended the efforts of Mr Fadeyi, saying it’s a brilliant innovation. He, however, offered what he termed a few thoughts on how to make the app a bit more intuitive and addicting.
“It will make a lot of sense to see timelines of cases reported by others and a realtime graph of how they’re being tackled – the agencies tackling them, how long they will take from day reported to day of resolution, whose desk the cases are, and so on.
“The success story tab should capture not only my success stories but every other persons success stories. This goes for view cases as well; I believe this will build user’s confidence that indeed, flagit is an effective app.
” I just feel the app can be more open to what and how the public is responding to it. This I hope could help others know what’s corrupt vs what’s not, Adebayo said.
Responding, Mr Fadeyi said the Foundation will get its Communication Officer to take a look at the suggestions of Mr Adebayo with a view to factoring them for the purpose of improvement, if the need be. Since its launch, more Nigerians have continued to download the app which is at no cost to them.