No fewer than 100 local government officials from Akwa Ibom State, comprising newly elected council Chairmen and career civil servants, were at the headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for a 2-day intensive training on Anti-corruption, Ethics and Integrity.
The training was organized by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of ICPC, in partnership with a non-governmental organization (NGO), Foundation for Transparency and Accountability (FTA).
While declaring the workshop open, the Provost of ACAN, Professor Sola Akinrinade, observed that majority of citizens of Nigeria, especially at the grassroots level, believe that the impact of governance on the society, over the years were not encouraging, due to minimal visible evidence of the presence of government.
In his words: “Whenever citizens lament failure of basic services to meet their expectations, it means government has failed. Therefore, as elected officials I urge you to serve the electorate diligently”
He traced the root of the workshop to the 2017 Anti-Corruption Summit held at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and commended the state government for keeping its promise of a sustained collaboration with the Commission.
“I am delighted that the state government kept to its promise by facilitating the organization of this workshop which I believe will bestow valuable knowledge on the participants to enable them perform effectively and efficiently”, the Provost said.
He however cautioned that “…although experience has shown that dwindling resources had always been the excuse for service failure . . ., funds must be aptly applied for the purpose for which they are meant. It will be a tragedy for any local council official to end up behind bars after leaving office.”
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Finance and supervising Commissioner Ministry of Local Government Mr. Linus Nkan, in his remarks, stated that, “peace, progress and development thrives all over the world because of partnership, collaboration, peer review and compliance with statutory requirements.”
He further stated that, “Local Government can only thrive well when corruption is prevented from occurring in the first place.”
According to him, the government of Akwa Ibom saw this collaboration with ICPC as a positive step in the right direction, where the rules of engagement in public service would be learned, appreciated and adhered to by the participants.
Governor Udom, congratulated the Commission for the landmark achievements recorded in the fight against Corruption in Nigeria and also used the occasion to commiserate with ICPC on the death of its pioneer Chairman, Justice Mustapha Akanbi.