In its bid to promote anti-corruption campaign and inspire generations, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda will on Monday in Lagos hold the maiden edition of Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards.
HEDA said the award is in recognition of individuals who promote honour, integrity and also stand tall in the crusade against corruption in Nigeria, a country said to lose billions of naira to graft and financial crimes every year.
The award was instituted by HEDA in memory of late anti-corruption icon, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who was born on April 22, 1938, but died of lung cancer on September 8, 2009.
Fawehinmi was arguably the most incarcerated Nigerian on account of his fearless battles for good governance and transparency.
In a statement on Friday, the HEDA Chairman, Lanre Suraj, said the Impact and Integrity Awards are borne out of the desire to celebrate outstanding Nigerians who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and citizenship.
The Awards in three categories are for people in any area of human endeavour that earn recognition for Outstanding Integrity Award, Outstanding Impact Award and Whistles Blower Award.
Recipients for the three categories of awards for the maiden edition emerged following the decision of a wide-spectrum of Nigerians who responded to a HEDA’s call for nomination spanning a period of more than two months beginning from September when the nomination was launched in the mainstream and social media.
At the close of nomination on October 10, 2018, 123 entries were received for the two categories of the Awards respectively as 114 entries for Outstanding Integrity and Impact Awards and nine entries for Whistles Blower Award.
Suraj said over the years, Nigeria has faced dwindling fortunes in global anti-corruption rating.
He said: “The negative image our dear country has acquired is no doubt symptomatic of the deep-rooted integrity-deficit and culture of impunity that pervade every sphere of our national life.”
He stated further that the ugly scenario of corruption and integrity-deficit could better be imagined when searchlight is beamed on daily activities in both the public and private sectors.
According to him: “Private businesses, Public service and government activities are enmeshed in euphemism like embezzlement, misappropriation, forgery, scams, laundering, extortion, bribery and high-level nepotism so much that the entire Nigerian landscape has earned the unenviable tag of corruption. While corruption that is now synonymous with Nigeria has become worrisome, the truth however remains there are Nigerians in private and public spheres that are nonetheless forthright and honest and above-board.”
HEDA said while it would appear these outstanding Nigerians in their relative numbers have been relegated in national reckoning, their pedigree and impact yet offer the hope of rejuvenating a new consciousness about Nigeria on the basis of honesty, integrity and patriotic service.
Suraj said: “Without doubt, Chief Gani Fawehinmi is one Nigerian whose exemplary life and deeds could propel the ideals of the envisaged new Nigeria consciousness. The three categories of the awards are therefore conceived as fitting recognition of the impactful track-record of integrity bequeathed to new generations of Nigeria by Chief Gani Fawehinmi in his lifetime. Therefore, the goal of the awards is to encourage Nigerians to strive for integrity and patriotism in the quest to stamp out corruption in private and public spheres.”
Entries for the maiden edition of Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards was followed up by the second stage of the selection process which involved authentication and validation of nominees by the Selection Committee and subsequent short listing of nominees for final voting by the public which lasted a month.
At the end of three-month long nomination and selection process amongst other shortlisted credible Nigerians, recipients of the three categories of the award would be conferred on recipients of the awards at an impressive ceremony scheduled for 3pm on Monday at the Radisson Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos.