In the continual efforts to educate public servants on corruption and its effect on the society, the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences (NIMG), Jos, Plateau State, organized a two-day sensitization and awareness workshop for senior staff of the Institute recently.
The event titled: “Ethics and Integrity in the Workplace”, which was held at the main hall of the institute, was aimed at educating the participants on the causes and effects of corruption in the workplace; and building the capacity of participants to adopt administrative measures for controlling corruption. It also sought to entrench ethics and integrity in the procedures of the workplace.
In his welcome address during the opening ceremony, the Director General of the Institute, Dr. Umaru Saidu Bamalli, noted that because there was no excuse of ignorance before the law, it was therefore important to educate and sensitize the workforce of NIMG on what constitutes corruption. According to him, constant enlightenment of staff would make them aware of the need to maintain a high level of integrity in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking further, Bamalli said that corruption was a burning national discourse of urgent concern because of the severe harm it had caused the nation. He therefore urged staff to resist the temptations that could make them prone to sharp practices, while advising that they should be contented with their legitimate earnings.
In his own address, the Head of Administration Department of NIMG, Mr. Clarkson Takwi, said that corruption was the bane of the country’s development hence the need to tackle it by ensuring that integrity is imbibed by all. He added that the workshop was an avenue to encourage the culture of integrity among staff, which would translate into a corruption-free organisation.
The Provost of ACAN, Professor Sola Akinrinade, in his address, stated that it was the belief in ICPC that corruption could be reduced, if not totally eradicated, through attitudinal change among Nigerians.
He commended the management and staff of NIMG for making the workshop a reality, saying that the war against corruption could not be won by ‘leaders who say one thing in public and do something else in private or societies that decry corruption and yet tolerate it.’
Speaking further, Prof. Akinrinade said corruption in the workplace was widespread and involved common occurrences such as delay of files, falsification of age, making wrong claims, favouritism, truancy, bribery, abuse of office, submission of spurious bills, award of fictitious contracts and lateness to work, which were all systemic in nature. He noted that not every public servant was corrupt: “There are many clean ones, and it behooves all such to labour to redeem the image of the public service”, he added.
He enjoined the participants to utilize all the knowledge that they would imbibe from the various lectures to help entrench accountability and integrity in the Institute, stressing that the fight against corruption was one that every staff of NIMG must join.
Seven papers focusing on: Corruption in the Workplace: Forms, Causes and Effects; The Integrity Imperative in the Workplace; Entrenching Ethics and Integrity in the Processes and Procedures of MDAs/Workplace; Designing, Implementing and Monitoring Management System; Administrative Measures for Controlling Corruption in the Workplace; An Overview of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Challenges of Exposing Corruption, were delivered.
The climax of the workshop was the interactive session where participants were grouped into syndicates to come up with a proposed integrity and ethical plan for their organization, and also to deliberate on causes of corruption, suggestions, recommendations and strategies.
The workshop ended with the presentation of certificates to the participants after which in his vote of thanks, Dr. Umaru Bamalli, D.G of the Institute, commended ICPC for the effort made to educate and enlighten NIMG staff on issues of corruption. He then appealed to staff to imbibe the virtues of integrity, transparency, accountability and diligence in the execution of their daily duties while joining hands with anti-corruption agencies in making the country a corruption-free nation.