The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye SAN; has described corruption prevention as the best method of fighting corruption and ensuring a corruption-free workplace.
Prof. Owasanoye, who was represented by Mr. Demola Bakare fsi, a Deputy Director, System Study and Review Department, ICPC, made the assertion during a sensitisation and awareness creation workshop for GL 16-17 officers of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment organised by the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the Ministry held recently in Abuja.
Mr. Bakare, speaking on the topic, “The Phenomenon of Corruption, Types, Causes, Consequences and Impact on Civil Servants” emphasized the benefits of preventing corruption and urged all to embrace corruption prevention measures for a corruption-free workplace and society.
Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige had charged all hands to be on deck towards eradicating corruption in the Ministry as staff would be the primary beneficiaries of a corruption-free workplace due to the improved self-esteem, positive image as well as resources it would attract to the Ministry.
The Minister, who was represented by Dr. Mrs Martina Nwordu, further emphasised that corrupt practices were not limited to financial crimes alone but also included other forms of malpractices in the conduct of government duties.
Acts of omission, negligence and commission along the lines of duty, wrong attitude to work, unprofessional manner of interaction with stakeholders, he added, affect the ease of doing business and contribute directly or indirectly to corrupt practices.
Delivering the welcome address at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Yerima P. Tarfa represented by Dr. John Magbadelo commended the ACTU, noting that the workshop was the fourth in the series as the ACTU had successfully organised similar awareness creation programmes for officers on GL 03 – 15, replicating same at the state and zonal levels of the Ministry.
The Permanent Secretary also highlighted other achievements of the ACTU to include securing approval for inclusion of ACTU members in relevant Committees to serve as monitors against malpractices, development of an ACTU manual, production of suggestion/ alert boxes at the headquarters and parastatals, development of template for weekly monitoring and evaluation of ACTU related activities in the Ministry, training of ACTU committee members at ICPC’s Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) and scoring 62% at the 2020 performance scorecard for MDAs on ACTU.
The workshop, which had 40 officers in attendance, was aimed at promoting anti-corruption and reducing corrupt practices associated with workplaces, keeping all staff abreast with the latest guidelines as it relates to fighting corruption in the workplace and ensuring integrity and accountability in the discharge of official duties in the Ministry.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs Ese M. Okwong, Assistant Director, Public Enlightenment and Education Department, in a presentation titled “Curbing Corruption in the Workplace through Education and Enlightenment” urged the Ministry to ensure that they upgrade their education and enlightenment strategies towards achieving results.
According to Mrs. Okwong, that way, ultimately all staff, relevant stakeholders and the general public would become aware of, and key into the efforts put in place to ensure that the ministry is a corruption free zone.
She further urged everyone not to see the fight against corruption as the responsibility of ICPC and other Anti -corruption agencies alone.
Highlight of the event was a robust interactive session during which participants expressed their views on the way forward in the anti-corruption fight and pledged to join the crusade.