The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has pledged to assist Plateau State with technical assistance in carrying out System Studies and Review of practices and procedures of its public institutions in order to reduce vulnerabilities, leakages and provide a platform for sustainable development in the State.
This pledge was made by ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, while delivering a keynote address at the Plateau State Anti-Corruption Summit in Jos, Plateau State.
Mr. Nta said “ICPC, under its mandate, has the capability of assisting Plateau State of Nigeria, and other states, in providing technical assistance in carrying out System Studies and Reviews of your systems, practices and procedures. This will help eradicate or reduce institutional vulnerabilities, leakages and misalignments of objectives.”
“ICPC firmly believes that if you strengthen your public institutions, it will automatically provide the platform for sustainable development, and governance and rule of law”, he added.
The ICPC Chairman stated that Plateau State could banish poverty and ignorance by putting in place an anti-corruption agenda that guarantees the promotion of integrity, transparency through exploring innovative solutions and new technologies, and that Plateau State could become a reference point in eradicating public sector corruption.
In his speech, the Chief Host and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong expressed happiness for the choice of Plateau State for the anti-corruption summit.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden said “The choice of Plateau State for the ‘I Support the Fight against Corruption Campaign’ is undoubtedly an open attestation to the fact that our commitment as a government on a rescue mission to the fight against corruption is real and beyond the rhetoric that has characterized the campaign in the past.”
“The summit is no doubt apt, because it seeks to strengthen the fight against corruption in Plateau State. The strategy is commendable, seeing that it calls the citizen’s conscience to an action which he or she will personally sign for, not as a supporter, but as a prosecutor of the corruption war. People of conscience and conviction cannot afford not to stand up and be counted.” Governor Lalong added.
Earlier in an opening remark, Prof. Sola Akinrinade, the Provost of Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, ACAN, said he was pleased that the Plateau State Government had committed itself to joining the war against corruption as demonstrated in the convening of the summit.
The Provost said: “We are looking forward to working with the Plateau State Government to train staff of various agencies of government in the state to be able to identify processes and conducts that are prone to corruption, and to build systems that promote integrity, transparency and accountability, with zero tolerance for corruption.”
Also speaking at the event, in goodwill messages, were the Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of Plateau State. The Speaker of the House, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, commended the Commission for training Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly immediately after their inauguration. That training, he said, had given some direction to their oversight duties.
The Chief Judge who was also represented by a High Court Judge, Yakubu Gyang Dakwak, urged the Commission to go after the proceeds of fraud rather than the people involved. He said “Go after the proceeds of fraud, not the people involved in fraud, people could go to jail and die, their children inherit the proceeds.”