The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, (SAN) has stated that corrupt practices in the public sector are mostly done through shady procurement processes.
The ICPC Boss stated this during the procurement capacity building training organised by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in Zuba, Niger State, for its procurement officers recently.
Professor Owasanoye, who was represented by a board member of ICPC, Senator Anthony Agbo, noted that blocking and reforming skewed, and crooked public systems were veritable tools to achieving a corruption-free public service.
“Every Ministry, Department and Agency in the federal public service is expected to ensure effective and efficient system and procedures to curb corruption. Most corrupt practices perpetrated in the public sector are conducted through the procurement process; so opening up and straightening procurement procedures is vital to promote integrity and accountability of procurements and ultimately good service delivery to our people.”
While he reiterated the readiness of ICPC to continue to partner with relevant agencies to fight corruption, he commended NASENI for organizing the training saying it would enhance the capacity of key officers in the handling of government business at all times.
On his part, the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Aghughu Adolphus, who was represented by Mr. Suleiman Akpoti, identified absence of transparency and discipline as the bane of public procurements in Nigeria.
In his welcome remark, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Professor M.S. Haruna explained that training and retraining has always remained a culture and method of operations in the bid to ensure that whatever the agency was doing would be in line with global best practices.
“We have no alternative as we are under the number one citizen of the country, and we cannot afford to leave any stone unturned in the way we conduct our daily businesses. That is why EFCC was recently invited to conduct a thorough scrutiny of our practices to see whether there is a possibility or tendency for any offence, commission or omission that should be blocked.
Accordingly, we owe the country every responsibility to account for the last kobo of whatever is injected into the system, not only accounting for it but ensuring that the country gets optimum benefits in our operations hence the reason why we have invited all those that are involved in our system to be part of this since ignorance is not an excuse.” he said.
The programme was attended by procurement officers of NASENI.