The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has re-iterated the Commission’s determination to tackle corruption by maintaining a balance in enforcement and prevention in addition to education and public enlightenment activities.
Professor Owasanoye emphasized this while receiving officials of Ford Foundation (FF) who paid a courtesy call on him at ICPC’s headquarters in Abuja, recently.
The ICPC Chairman who was explaining the Commission’s mandate and duties to the visitors stated, “ICPC has the most robust legislation to deal with corruption. It features the ‘3S’ of Sanctions, System and Society. As a Commission, we consider corruption at the macro-level, therefore we will maintain a balance in enforcement, prevention and enlightenment activities, even though the public places high premium on enforcement such as arrest, investigation, prosecution and imprisonment above the don’t-let-it-happen mindset.”
Speaking further, Owasanoye drew the distinction between the roles of ICPC and the Police, saying, “Anti-corruption agencies are specialised agencies, ICPC should not do what the Police should do (or is actually doing). The Police is wide-spread and regularly being reformed to deliver on its mandate. It’s therefore best suited to handle the cases of breach of trust between private individuals.”
The Chairman also informed the guests that the Commission was aware of corruption matters trending in the public domain, but cautioned that ICPC would ‘not investigate on the pages of newspapers’.
On the Commission’s activities which are beneficial to citizens, especially women and children, the ICPC boss touched on the ongoing collaboration between ICPC and the National Social Investment Office, which has been designed to ensure transparency in various social intervention programmes including, the School Feeding Programme; You-Win; Trader Money; Conditional Cash Transfer, etc.
He further disclosed that the upcoming collaboration between ICPC and the Presidential Committee on Enabling Business Environment, would impact greatly in the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, adding that plans were underway to make Constituency Projects Monitoring a pro-active exercise.
Earlier, the leader of the foundation’s delegation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, who is the acting Regional Director, West Africa, had glowingly described ICPC as “an illustrious institution in Nigeria with a deep pedigree.”
On the purpose of the visit, he said, “This meeting is a continuation of an earlier exploratory meeting between ICPC and the Ford Foundation, which was held in Lagos. Our visit is not an accident, we are here to reciprocate and deepen discussions on areas of collaboration with the Commission”.
FF is one of the international donor agencies supportive of the fight against corruption in Nigeria, alongside Mac Arthur Foundation and others.