United Nations agency commends public service reforms, anti-graft fight

ICPC Boss, Ekpo Nta

ICPC Boss, Ekpo Nta

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Nigeria, has commended the Federal Government for its efforts at reforming the public service through its anti-corruption drive.

The Country Director, Pa Lamin Beyai, gave the commendation recently at the Training of Trainers on Corruption Risk Assessments (CRA) at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), a training wing of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), located in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Speaking through the UNDP Deputy Country Director-Programme, Mandisa Mashologu,
Beyai said that the government being aware of the rating of Nigeria by Transparency International (TI) as the 136th most country out of 168 countries, a rating lower than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa, has put in tremendous efforts through institutional reforms, enforcements, prosecution, entrenching the culture of integrity and capacity building of staff of anti-corruption agencies to tackle the menace.
‘Tackling corruption remains a top priority of the government as one of means to facilitate efficient delivery of public services and enhance national development opportunities.

‘The process has resulted in on-going institutional reforms which are already yielding positive results. We believe that an efficient and effective public service can positively contribute to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and act as stimulant to curb corrupt practices”, Beyal said.
Provost of ACAN, Professor Sola Akinrinade, who declared the training open on behalf of ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, said that the establishment of the academy was in line with the Commission’s determination to fulfil its enlightenment and education functions in systematic and sustainable way to achieve long term impact in the national war against corruption.

“At the academy, we do not subscribed to the widespread notion that fighting corruption in Nigeria is a lost cause. Our philosophy is that corruption and related crimes can be controlled or managed through a system of training and re-training, geared towards sound policy formulation, operational efficiency and good management culture.

“This week’s CRA training is in part a fulfillment of the dreams and vision of the ICPC  Chairman, Ekpo Nta, who embodies the belief that the war against corruption should transcend arrest and prosecution to building long term, sustainable attitudinal change”, Akinrinade said.
Also speaking to a group of senior executives from the public service on Organisational Integrity, Professor Akinrinade noted that to achieve a country free of corruption, everyone in the formal and informal sector will have to condition their conscience to do the right thing no matter the consequence and also when nobody is watching.

According to him, doing unethical things, even if nobody is hurt, is wrong. Participants were drawn from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Nigeria Police, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), civil society organizations and other government ministries and departments.

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