Chairman of the Independent Corrupt practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta has said that the ICPC has no difficulty identifying with a very good cause at the various tiers and levels of government as well as religious and traditional institutions in the country. The Chairman stated this in Kano when Members of the Board of ICPC went on a sympathy visit to the Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Ado Bayero, over his recent attack by gunmen.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Kano State, the ICPC boss pointed out that corruption was so widespread in the country that government at every level had a critical role to play in addressing it. “It is not enough to complain about corruption. If we are all seating around a dirty table, and you decide to take out your handkerchief and clean the portion immediately before you, before you know it, we will have a clean table. That is the parable of the country we call Nigeria,” he said.
“The work of ICPC is not all about arresting people, putting them behind bars only; of course, if anybody transgresses the rule, the law will take its course; but our major focus is to uproot corruption from the society by taking preventive measures.”
According to Mr. Nta, one of the preventive measures of the Commission is in the area of systems study; which identifies and removes processes and practices that encourage corruption. He said the Commission had assisted some state governments to do systems study in their states. “Bauchi is an example where they were not having enough revenue and they brought ICPC in, to conduct systems study to find out why the revenue generation was so low. After the study and review of the system, there was a huge revenue boost.”
He also said that the Commission was following implementation of budgets all over the country; and where the Commission can assist, particularly in budget preparation, “we will be more than delighted to cooperate with government at all levels”.
The Chairman, who was represented by Prof. Olu Aina, told Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state that, having seen the very laudable programmes and projects he was putting in place for the people of Kano, the Commission was extending invitation to him to be guest at ICPC Governors’ Forum to share the magic he was performing in the state with other Governors.
“In the Governors’ Forum we invite governors, share ideas with them, particularly governors that are doing well in their states, to come and share their experiences which we can in turn take to other states; and your Excellency, your state is one of such states,” he told Kwankwaso.
Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso assured the ICPC Chairman that Kano State government would continue to work with ICPC, saying; “We believe that your success is our success and the success of this country. The issue of corruption is a huge challenge to us.”
According to the Governor, “Kano State Government does not believe in security vote;” adding that his administration had not taken one naira in the name of security vote; and that whatever they were doing was open; “if we are giving Police logistics, we give them on request and it is being well documented for everybody to see; if we are giving it to the Army, it is the same thing; we put on paper and it is there on record. The issue of security vote I believe is an issue that everybody should take seriously because we believe that it is the area where many people are taking money and not accounting for it.
He said his believe was that, “as a governor you are working for the people, and needed to be open because people should know what we are doing.”