The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has appealed to public servants to shun all forms of corrupt practices and make honesty, transparency and integrity their watchwords in both their private and public lives.
This advice was given at the sensitization programme organized by the Commission’s office in Imo state for the Management Cadre of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) held at the Senate Council Chamber Hall of the institution.
Speaking at the event, Assistant Commissioner ICPC, Imo State office, Mrs. Chinwe Egbeocha, lamented that corruption had deprived the country of the benefits of development, noting that the word ‘corruption’ connotes evil.
She stressed the need for collaboration and a people-driven war against corruption for any significant success to be made and urged the management to put in place a solid set of preventive tools such as strengthening the organization’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), to identify and remove opportunities for corruption in the system.
She advocated the streamlining of cumbersome administrative procedures and bureaucracy to provide an efficient and transparent service to the public, especially the students, pointing out that if government services take a long time to deliver and require multiple processes and steps, then the likelihood of corruption and malpractice would multiply.
According to Mrs Egbeocha, management must ensure that transparency is brought to bear on decision-making processes and regulations on issues such as procurement, admission process and other matters.
She advised that policies relating to different areas of the organisation’s administrative functions (e.g. student admission, staff recruitment, discipline and promotion etc.) should be formalized and adhered to and that a Code of Ethics must also be in place to guide official behaviour and conducts of staff.
In his speech, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Prof G. I. Nwandikom, who represented the Vice Chancellor, commended the efforts of ICPC in striving to achieve its mandate of preventing and eradicating corruption in the society.
He declared that the sensitization programme had equipped them with more knowledge and information to assist them in providing efficient service to the students and the public, and eradicating corruption from the school.
The VC promised to invite the team again for a more elaborate, insightful and educative lecture that would involve most FUTO staff.
In the same vein, the Registrar of the University represented by the Deputy Registrar Mr. Njoku Stanley stated that the University had a staff code of ethics that guides the conduct and activities of staffs in the institution.
Mr. Njoku also disclosed that FUTO does not tolerate any form of corruption as all those found culpable were thoroughly sanctioned.
He expressed the management’s readiness to support ICPC to achieve its mandate of preventing corruption in the institution.
In his vote of thanks, the FUTO ACTU chairman, Prof F.N Nnadi stated that the high grade recorded by the University during the last deployment of the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard by ICPC indicated that the institution is at the top in the fight against corruption.
He said that the ACTU members were appointed in November 2019, inaugurated in January 2020 and have been part of project and budget tracking in the university to make sure that there is quality service delivery and value for money.
He expressed gratitude to the management for its support and zero tolerance to corruption in the school and assured the Commission of their readiness and determination to reduce incidences of sharp practices in the University.