The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has charged civil servants on the need to imbibe the culture of integrity in discharging their duties.
The charge was given in the Commission’s goodwill message during the two-day workshop on Integrity Innovation Lab, which was organized by Accountability Lab, a member of the ICPC National Anti- Corruption Coalition (NACC) to celebrate “Integrity Icon Awardees” and create a hub to further engage them.
In the message, which was delivered by Mr. John Okor Odey, a Deputy Director and Head of Education Division of the ICPC, he explained that it is important to support the culture of integrity and learn approaches for value shifts from individuals who have demonstrated high level ethical conduct, honesty and transparency to broaden institutional integrity, which is core to the implementation of reforms in the civil service.
According to him, “the essence of this initiative is to build individuals who, like the “Integrity Icons”, would go beyond their call of duty, to help build support for honest efforts and ethical conduct in order to realise a collective societal shift towards acceptable behaviour with greater accountability in public service delivery.
“This exercise is aimed at making citizens and other beneficiaries of public service witness improved service delivery, transparency, and accountability, better structured policies and procedures in line with global standards and the inculcation of anti-corruption consciousness and values in the system”.
Mr. Odey, while congratulating Accountability Lab on their foresight in organizing the workshop, highlighted some of the Commission’s interventions in diminishing corruption to the barest minimum such as the establishment of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units (ACTU) which have improved the quality and standards of service delivery.
“One of the initiatives of the ICPC which is directed towards combating corrupt practices and entrenching transparency in the public service is the Anti- Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU). The Unit is an institutional ethics and anti-corruption instrument, which the ICPC under its preventive mandate established in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) in 2001, to serve as an in-house check mechanism within the MDAs to monitor, identify and address the lapses within their systems that could allow corruption and allied unethical practices to thrive” he said.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the country director of Accountability Lab, Mr Friday Odeh, enjoined participants at the event to deploy the knowledge acquired from the workshop, from the lessons shared and problem-solving approaches learnt in tackling integrity issues to their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that they stand out as ‘corruption – free zones’.
Delivering the keynote address, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, stated that Integrity is a hallmark factor for driving individual and corporate businesses, as it sets standards and guidelines for operations within the service.
He said, “One of the biggest problems around the globe has been the lack of citizens confidence in the integrity of its public servants.”
He stressed that issues around ethics in the public service are therefore taken very seriously as ethics reinforce a set of expectations required from officers, and as well prescribe the rules that regulate the moral conduct of officers while in Service.