ICPC, OAGF, BPP, embark on Corruption Prevention in MDAs

Bolstered by the success of the system study exercises it has carried out in some federal and state governments’ ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) so far, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has revved up its efforts in this regard by involving the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in a special project Systems Study it is embarking on.

The project will examine Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centres, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). To this end, four special teams comprising personnel from OAGF, BPP and ICPC were inaugurated at the headquarters of the Commission today.

Addressing the team members during the inauguration, the ICPC Acting Chairman, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar, said the project was in line with ICPC’s mandate as stipulated in Section 6 (b,c and d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

In his words “The purpose of the co-option of BPP and OAGF is to create a collaboration that would make the agencies not just to become aware of what ICPC has been doing over the years but to bring them in tune with some of the findings that are relevant to them in order to inform policy in relation to their mandate.

‘The team leaders are to be responsible for the delivery of the objectives of the special intervention as the Commission intends to make its findings public for all stakeholders to appreciate the role of prevention in the delivery of good governance.”

Dr. Abubakar, reminded the selected team members that they were representatives of their agencies, and that the assignment which they had been given was a testimony to the confidence their agencies had in their capacity, and therefore nothing less was expected from them.

System Study, and Review is a preventive duty of ICPC as stipulated in Section 6(b,c,d) of its enabling laws. It involves the examination of an MDA’s systems and processes in order to identify loopholes and gaps that make them prone to corruption. Where such weaknesses are found, ICPC is obligated to direct and supervise reforms to strengthen the system against corruption.

ICPC, NSC seek further commitment to Integrity in Port operations

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) are collaborating to raise the Integrity profile of Ports operations in Nigeria with a focus on compliance with the requirements of the Federal Government’s Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.

This revelation was made by ICPC’s acting Chairman, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar, during a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) headquarters in Abuja, recently.

In his remarks, Dr. Abubakar stated that the visit was to ‘update the Controller-General on the on-going implementation of the Integrity Plan of the Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) which was conducted in the port sector, discuss areas of further commitment in aligning the process with FG’s “Executive Order on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Nigeria’’ and inform NIS of a proposed Infraction Management Exercise being planned by Nigeria Shippers Council in conjunction with ICPC, across Nigerian Ports.’

According to the acting Chairman, the report of the CRA showed “vulnerabilities such as lack of inter-agency coordination, inadequate or non-existent Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), lack of anti-corruption policies, ineffective ethics and complaints-handling mechanism and weak regulatory oversight on clearing agents.”

He also noted that the implementation of the Integrity Plan of the CRA Report by an inter-agency Project Steering Committee had led to the design and development of the Port Service Support Portal (PSSP), a mechanism for addressing business and integrity issues in Nigeria ports, which currently contains the harmonized SOPs of port agencies and stakeholders.

The Executive Secretary, NSC represented by the Director, Legal Services, Mr. Samuel Vongtau, elaborated on the need for joint boarding of vessels by agencies and compliance of officers with the SOPs of their respective agencies as published on the PSSP so as not to risk sanctions for infractions.

In response, the NIS Controller-General, Muhammad Babandede, declared that he would not object to any attempt that will encourage ease of doing business, saying, “We are ready to comply with any idea that will make clearance easier at the ports.’’

The Controller-General also assured ICPC of the support of NIS to ensure that corrupt practice is reduced to its barest minimum in ports.

According to him, “We are ready to work with ICPC to check all areas that are vulnerable to corruption.’’

“We are committed as a service to get involved in anything that can make the ports free of corruption,” the Immigration boss added.

Also, speaking during the visit, Spokesperson for the Commission, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, mni, stated that ICPC’s enabling law has zero-tolerance for gratification and called on the management of the service to dissuade officers on duty from accepting gifts from clients.

Signed:
Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, mni
Spokesperson for the Commission

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