A MacArthur Foundation-funded drama series highlighting the adverse effects of corruption in Nigeria, Shugabanci (leadership), has been presented to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for rebroadcasting.
The foundation had in 2017 provided a grant of $450,000 to Moving Images Limited, a media and communications company, to produce the 156-episode series, which has since been aired on radio. The objective was to sensitise “radio listeners across Hausa-speaking areas of Nigeria to promote accountability” and better understand the costs of corruption as well as its impact on the lives of citizens.
During the presentation on Friday, via Zoom, the Director of MacArthur Foundation’s Africa Office, Dr. Kole Shettima, stated that there was a need for government and civil societies to come together towards ending corruption in the country, and that the anti-corruption drama series was necessary to “change people’s attitude, allowing them to own the fight against corruption”.
Dr. Shettima added that the foundation provided funding for the project with the belief that radio drama series would play a great role in inciting behavioural change especially in the people at the grassroots level.
The Managing Director of Moving Image Limited, Abdulkarim Muhammad, said the $450,000 grant from the foundation enabled the organisation to produce a series that would impact the anti-corruption fight by properly mobilising regular citizens.
“By the time people see the damage corruption does, they will key into the anti-corruption fight. In fighting corruption, you keep pushing,” he said.
Mohammed Umar Abba, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, thanked the MacArthur Foundation, adding that the drama series produced was a perfect fit for the commission’s anti-corruption mandate.
“We in the EFCC prioritise corruption prevention and this led to the creation of an Enlightenment and Re-orientation Unit in the Public Affairs Directorate to drive and sustain the rigorous education and sensitisation of the public on the ills of corruption and economic and financial crimes in the country.
“Drama mirrors life, teaches life, motivates the audience, changes attitudes and remains longer in the memories of both the listeners and viewers alike. This is why we consider your kind gesture today as a great contribution to the anti-corruption drive of the EFCC,” Abba said.
In the past, the foundation had also helped improve EFCC’s forensic infrastructure and evidence-gathering tactics through a grant provided to the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in West Africa.
The MacArthur Foundation announced in July that it had approved a total of $64 million for projects focusing on transparency and accountability in Nigeria between 2015 and 2019.