Autonomy, Panacea to Local Government Corruption – ICPC Chairman

Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta has called for the immediate separation of local government accounts from that of the states in order to reduce corruption at the third tier of government.

He made the call at a two-day Conference on “The Role of the Legislature in the Fight Against Corruption”, which was organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) together with the National Assembly in collaboration with the European Union (EU), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Africa Development Studies Centre (ADSC) in Abuja recently.

During a panel discussion on “Fighting Corruption at State and Local Government Levels”, Mr. Nta decried the situation in the country where caretakers are appointed to run the Local Government for two or three years, saying that this makes them less effective and inefficient, thereby falling below that which the Nigerian constitution expects of them.

He therefore called on the State Houses of Assembly to always ensure that elections at the local governments are not delayed in order not to prolong the stay of caretakers.

The ICPC Chairman further advocated the entrenchment of transparency and accountability to make the third tier of government performance-based and result-oriented.

He said “Let’s put the local governments in order and build their capacity because currently, there are legislative houses at the local government level that should be sitting over contracts but they are not sitting.”

Mr. Nta also acknowledged that while enforcement was an integral part of the mandate of ICPC, the Commission was also focused on creating sustainable anti-corruption processes that would prevent corruption in the systems of ministries, departments and agencies.