Problem Solving Must-Reads: Tackling Entrenched Corruption in Nigeria

Plus: Seattle hires community liaisons, and a recycling company fights recidivism

Problem Solving Must-Reads: Tackling Entrenched Corruption in Nigeria

Plus: Seattle hires community liaisons, and a recycling company fights recidivism

According to a study conducted by anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The cost of this corruption on the Nigerian economy is staggering: It’s estimated that Nigeria has lost over $155 billion to illicit transactions by its government. Corruption causes valuable resources to be diverted away from the country’s development, undermines the ability of the government to provide basic services and widens economic inequality.

In an effort to combat deep-rooted corruption, the Nigerian Ministry of Finance launched a whistleblowing program that gives citizens who provide reliable information on corruption-related offenses some part of the sum that is recovered. The program is mainly aimed at the 80,000 public servant staff working within the Nigerian government. If the information that the whistleblower provides leads to the recovery of the cash lost to illicit transactions, the whistleblower is entitled to between 2.5 and 5 percent of the recovered funds. The whistleblowers have to submit information via a secure online portal and are protected and kept anonymous.

Since its launch, the program has been quite successful, according to reports. Recently the nation’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recovered almost $10 million from the managing director of the state oil company in a corruption case. Whistleblowers have so far led to the recovery of $180 million.

Read the full story here (via Quartz Africa)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

Public Outreach through Community Liaisons in Seattle

Photo: Next City

Almost all American cities are culturally and economically diverse. However, it has been difficult for people who come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and from historically underserved communities to voice their opinions about decisions made in city government and to access services and resources. To ensure all voices are heard and all citizens are able to gain equitable access to city services, the city of Seattle is hiring a team of professionals positioned throughout the city to serve as resources and liaisons to community residents. These community liaisons organize community meetings, provide translation services, invite people to city events and connect them to various services. Currently there are about 65 community liaisons throughout the city, working to engage underprivileged communities. A plan has been put in place to hire 120 liaisons, making that one liaison for every language spoken in the city. (via Next City)

Recycling Company Helps Formerly Incarcerated with Jobs

Photo: Fast CoExist

The United States produces hundreds of tons of electronic waste every year, more than any other country in the world. But because it’s often inconvenient to properly discard the technology, less than 12 percent of the electronic waste is recycled. In order to tackle the growing problem, Kabira Stokes, a former staffer for the mayor of Los Angeles, founded Isidore Electronic Recycling. Stokes’ electronic recycling company is also fighting recidivism in L.A. and makes a point to hire formerly incarcerated individuals. Stokes has employed 27 formerly incarcerated people in her company. The recycling business has recently been acquired and is now a part of Homeboy Industries, an organization that has a rich history of supporting and job training people with criminal records. (via Fast CoExist)

Photo Header via Quartz Africa

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