The Acting Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, has declared the resolve of his organisation to collaborate with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in the fight against corruption especially in the area of privatisation and commercialisation of government properties.
Dr.Vincent Akpotaire, who led a 14-man delegation on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of ICPC, Mr.Ekpo Nta, said that BPE was aware of the challenges before ICPC, and therefore stressed the need to forge a strategic alliance between his organisation and ICPC in order to achieve set objectives.
He further explained that the Bureau was committed to getting rid of the culture of corruption said to be rampant in the country, noting that a lot of privatisation and commercialisation were carried out without adhering to due process.
According to the Acting DG, there was need for proper synergy with relevant bodies such as ICPC, EFCC among others to enforce laws that were relevant to them “to avoid favouritism” in the way government business was conducted in the country.
He stated that BPE in carrying, out its activities, “…is interfacing with the high and mighty in the society” as part of the efforts to avoid the errors associated with the privatization and commercialization processes.
Dr. Akpotaire emphasized that “…there is need for the operatives of ICPC and Bureau of Public Enterprises to have regular interactive sessions for better synergy and exchange ideas for better information”.
He therefore requested that ICPC should deploy a desk officer to the Bureau to help ensure the transparency of their processes and give daily reports on their activities.
The BPE boss said,: “Bearing in mind the power of the ICPC law and the functions of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, under the Public Enterprises (Privitisation and Commercialisation Act 1999, we seek the cooperation of the Commission in the performance of our functions particularly in the pre-bidding process, and response to public notice of application to bid, where there exist allegations of fraud in the process”.
Responding, the Chairman of ICPC, Mr.Ekpo Nta, expressed the readiness of ICPC to collaborate with the Bureau of Public Enterprises on the training and retraining of its personnel, adding that the Anti-corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), was established for that purpose, and stressed the need for the two organizations to work together for the interest of the people.
The ICPC boss counseled that BPE must ensure probity and transparency in its bidding processes saying,: “BPE should carry out intelligence checks on the bidders to avoid any sharp practices, and there should be proper channels of dissemination of information, particularly to foster integrity and accountability”.
He assured the BPE team that ICPC would provide the necessary assistance to make BPE more efficient and effective in their quest for corruption-free operations.