The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has called on all public officers and managers of public funds to join hands in the fight against corruption.
Prof. Owasanoye, who made this remark in a goodwill message at the inauguration ceremony of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) at Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), expressed confidence that the Unit will create awareness on the ills of corruption in the course of their assignment.
Owasanoye, represented by Mr. Demola Bakare, a Deputy Director in the Systems Study and Review Department, revealed that the ACTU of the Directorate had always been a source of pride to the Commission in view of its past activities and achievements.
He therefore commended the ACTU for their activities in the areas of monitoring and investigations towards eliminating pension scam and urged them to prioritise other duties like conducting system study and review of processes and procedures of the Directorate. He reminded them that constant sensitisation of staff against the dangers of corruption in the workplace is still part of the preventive mandate for which ACTU was set up.
The Chairman further urged the management not to relent in its support to the Unit by providing a conducive environment for them to function, making funds and office accommodation available to them as well as incorporating its members in various standing committees as provided for in its extant circular.
Prof. Owasanoye emphasised that ACTU was not set up to displace the management of government agencies but rather complement their efforts in promoting its core values.
He encouraged the new executives to be above board, responsible and responsive in the exercise of their functions and avoid any questionable acts given the strategic role they were expected to play.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, said the agency has recently launched the pilot phase of their “I AM ALIVE” confirmation project to enable pensioners validate their records from the comfort of their homes.
Ejikeme also stated that, as an organisation that handles public funds, the need for transparency and accountability in their activities, to engender public confidence especially their stakeholders, was an important factor.
She added that they are committed to ensuring the integrity of PTAD’s pension administration system so that pensioners are assured that their entitlements would be processed and paid accurately and on time.
She called on other relevant agencies to join hands in the fight against corruption, adding that, “fighting corruption needs the willpower, support and effort of everyone,” and stated that no single organisation can win the war against corruption without the efforts and cooperation of all concerned.
In her acceptance speech, the ACTU Chairperson, Mrs. Ada Phil-Ugochukwu assured ICPC of the readiness of members to uphold the confidence reposed on them to ensure that PTAD continues to remain a zero-tolerant agency for fraud.