The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has handed over 40 vehicles it has recovered to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
The vehicles which consist of 14 SUVs, 14 Hilux Pick Up Vans, 3 Toyota Avensis, 7 Toyota Corolla, 1 Toyota Camry and 1 Audi A6, were recovered in 2016 by the Commission from some retired public servants at directorate cadre of the ministry.
At the handing over ceremony, the Commission’s Chairman represented by Honourable Member, Alhaji Bako Abdullahi, expressed displeasure at how the vehicles were carted away dishonestly by retiring public servants, saying that “the event should not just be for the handing-over of recovered vehicles from an anti-corruption agency to another public institution. Rather, it should be a moment of solemn reflection on our avowed commitment to public service and the thought processes of the public servants going into retirement.”
“It is not much that official vehicles of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources were dishonestly made away with by retiring public servants. However, what is more significant is the need to ask some questions and consistently interrogate how 40 government vehicles were removed without authorization”, he added.
He stated that, the fight against corruption was not all about nailing down those who dishonestly enrich themselves through government properties, but much more in blocking the loopholes that allowed corruption to thrive in our systems.
Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Honourable Minister, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Rabi Jimeta mni, commended ICPC’s due diligence and commitment to its mandate which has led to the successful recovery of the ministry’s operational vehicles.
According to her, “One of the challenges I met on ground when I resumed office was lack of operational vehicles, which I learned were carted away by retired officials of the ministry, adding that nobody has the right to retain any government’s property, a day after his or her retirement.
The Permanent Secretary said, she wrote to those involved to return the vehicles to the ministry’s pools but they did not respond. “I was glad when I heard later that ICPC was handling the matter and was tracking the vehicles”
When asked how the vehicles would be put to use, Mrs. Jimeta, mni said she would make sure all the vehicles were returned to the ministry’s pools and used for operational purposes, adding that mechanisms would be put in place to ensure occurrences that led to the vehicles being brought to ICPC did not happen again.
The very elated Permanent Secretary concluded by saying “It is with great joy, I commend ICPC for this great intervention that recovered 40 vehicles for the ministry, I believe that this achievement will mark the beginning of our relationship in ensuring corruption is curbed in Nigeria.”