Posted by News Express | 13 September 2021 | 186 times
The enduring efforts of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in improving corporate governance through innovative, professional and effective mechanisms in MDAs have been commended by the Honourable Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello.
Mallam Bello who made this assertion during a sensitisation workshop for top management staff of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) recently in Abuja, commended the Commission’s Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard in which FCTA emerged as top scorer in the year 2020 rating, stating that the success was attributable to the active role played by the FCT Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU).
He noted that the establishment of ACTUs in MDAs by ICPC served as an effective tool to not only check corrupt practices in MDAs and block corrupt prone areas, but to also enlist public servants in the fight against corruption.
The FCT Minister further warned civil servants against a conspiracy of silence in reporting corruption, adding that civil servants became victims of corruption when they failed to report to relevant authorities.
He encouraged staff to continue to follow the laid down rules and regulations while commending them for coming tops in the 2020 ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard which, he said, was a reflection of the collective effort of staff and management.
Earlier in his goodwill message the Chairman of ICPC Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, represented by the Director Systems Study and Review Department (SSRD) ICPC, Mr. Abbia Udofia had told participants that the ACTU was not aimed at witch-hunting staff, but to serve as a cleaning agent to assist the Ministry and spread the gospel of anti-corruption, as well as complement the efforts of management to ensure that things were done the right way.
The ICPC Chairman said the event was aimed at educating staff on the ills and scourge of corruption and hoped that lessons learnt from the lectures would help in driving the activities and work of the Ministry and ICPC.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary FCTA, Mr. Olusola Adesola said that the unsavoury effects of corruption and other associated ills could not be overemphasized, as it had the propensity to largely undermine the developmental strides and programmes of any administration or country.
He added that the challenge associated with the menace was not only that funds and government resources were being systematically siphoned by dishonest persons and groups inside and outside of government, but consequentially, it deprives vulnerable masses of basic social amenities meant to serve them.
Adesola went on to say that FCTA was poised to enlighten and sensitize all its officials on ways to completely eliminate corrupt practices in the system and stressed that the sensitization lectures would be one in the many series of engagements with various staff levels with a view to fostering better understanding of the required standards of public service rules and regulations.
Thereafter, three insightful lectures were delivered by ICPC officers on the topics “Combatting Corruption in the Public Service and Entrenching Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in the Workplace”, “Whistle Blowing Protection Reward System”, and “An Overview of the ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Score Card”.
In her vote of thanks, the ACTU Chairperson FCTA, Ms. Bunmi Olowookere said the active participation of staff during the lecture showed their commitment to the fight against corruption.
She pledged that FCTA would always be a reference point in the fight against corruption amongst MDAs and Nigeria at large.
In a related development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Bello Hassan, has commended the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units (ACTUs) set up by ICPC in Ministries, Departments and Agencies for reducing corruption in public sector institutions.
The NDIC MD who gave the commendation at the inauguration and induction of the reconstituted ACTU of the Corporation following the retirement and expiration of tenure of the old members stated: “Your agency has continued to give impetus to the current administration in the war against graft and other forms of corruption.”
Hassan stated that ICPC should not rest on its oars as NDIC is ever ready to collaborate in this regard, adding that in order to tackle the menace of corruption, all hands needed to be on deck. He further stressed that corruption had become a global concern, saying that it destroyed rule of law, caused political instability, retarded social development and eroded public trust in governance.
The NDIC boss further said that the NDIC ACTU had in times past engaged in preliminary investigation and through system study ensured compliance to policies by all staff of the Corporation. According to him, “I have no doubt in my mind that this inauguration will not only go a long way in strengthening our system, processes and procedures to continue to prevent corruption within the corporation. But it will also in no small measure support the Federal Government’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy which was launched by the Federal Executive Council on the 5th of July, 2017.”
In his goodwill message, ICPC Chairman, Prof. Owasanoye, SAN, described NDIC ACTU as a source of pride to the ICPC in view of its activities and achievement which included sensitization of staff and system study and review of the Corporation’s processes.
The ICPC Chairman, who was represented by the Director in charge of System Study and Review Department, Mr. Abba Udofia, urged the management of NDIC to sustain the legacy which according to him promotes transparency and accountability in their operations and systems.
Professor Owasanoye highlighted the duties of ACTUs to include examination of systems, processes and procedures that are prone to corruption; developing and reviewing a code of ethics for staff and ensuring compliance with same; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation; implementing the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard; and undertaking preliminary investigations into complaints and reports received, amongst others.
He therefore advised the newly appointed members of ACTU to “be responsible and responsive in the exercise of your functions and avoid questionable acts given the strategic role you are expected to play. Remember, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.”
In her acceptance speech, the newly sworn-in chairperson of Unit, Margaret Iveren Anyira, Assistant Director, Internal Audit Department of the Corporation expressed appreciation to the management of NDIC and ICPC for placing faith and honour in them. She pledged, “We will carry out this assignment with dedication and great passion while standing on integrity, which is one of the core values of the corporation.”
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