The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye recently briefed media executives on current ICPC initiatives especially the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, and charged the executives to use their platforms to preach integrity.
Professor Owasanoye gave this briefing and charge at a media roundtable organized by the Commission in Abuja for publishers and top executives of media houses.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Owasanoye stated that it was aimed at engaging the media in popularizing the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) to the public as well as updating them on recent initiatives of the Commission.
The event, which was in 2 sessions first had the Chairman speaking on recent initiatives of the Commission, then focusing on the National Ethics and Integrity Policy.
The Chairman explained some of the focus interventions of the fourth Board of ICPC such as Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking initiatives (CEPTi) review of transactions on the Open Treasury Portal (OTP), tracking Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), Systems Study & Review of MDAs and the appraisal of MDAs using the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard as well as focus on Sexual Harassment issues.
He listed some challenges of ICPC, and debunked allegations of not investigating corruption in the military and slowing down the pace of CEPTi work.
During the second session of the event which was focused on the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, Prof. Owasanoye requested the Media executives present to jointly own the Policy as stakeholders, and also disseminate the message of the Policy using its platforms.
Also speaking at the event, Director-General, NOA, Dr. Garba Abari said that the meeting was timely, as it came at a time when there was a gap between citizens’ trust and government policies; and that ethics and integrity cannot be ignored in effectively fighting corruption.
He hoped that the media would drive the policy by using their various platforms to engage with members of the public.
Abari affirmed that NOA was willing to partner with ICPC to propagate the policy to the grassroots using all its structures.
While presenting a paper on the Overview of NEIP, the Director, Education Department, ICPC, Baba Ashiru spoke on the objectives and core values of the Policy stating that the policy was not targeted at Nigerians only but every individual that stepped his or her foot in the country.
Speaking on the Next Steps in Policy Implementation, Ag. Head, Public Enlightenment Department, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua informed participants that ICPC was designing a Work Plan to enable the policy to be cascaded down to the grassroots as well as a Consequence Management Template to address punishment for defaulting on, and rewards for compliance to the Policy.
Consultant to the Roundtable, Mr. Tajudeen Kareem while speaking on the Specific Role of the Media in the implementation of the NEIP said the media must assume the role of monitoring government programmes.
He also said that the policy was a citizen-based way of promoting integrity in every aspect of life while commending ICPC for the initiative.
Soft and hard copies of recent ICPC publications including a copy of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, Report of Phase II of Constituency and Executives Projects Tracking Initiative, Report of the 2020 Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard, Report of the Nigeria Corruption Index (NCI) study as well as the ICPC Legacy book, were presented to the executives.