By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr Joe Abah has said corruption is beyond the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), adding that it is difficult to perpetrate corruption without procurement funds.
Abah, however, called on the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to share information and intelligence with the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACC), by trying to put in place a coordinated anti-corruption strategy.
“We have seen the efforts of the EFCC, ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureau. However, corruption is beyond EFCC, it is difficult to perpetrate corruption without procurement funds.
“So, the BPP is a very important aspect of the anti-corruption war. We make sure that the agency share information, intelligence and ensure that the presidential advisory committee on corruption takes the lead in that regard to coordinate national action plan on corruption.’’
He commended the Presidency’s anti-corruption strategy when he said about N4.6 trillion has been generated into government coffers.
Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, Abah also urged the Federal Government to merge some public institutions so as to save cost.
He said that the bureau had in time past struggled to ensure the implementation of the Steve Oronsanye report.
He said that the bureau had pushed for the implementation of the report which had experience some setbacks.
“Although, we’ve pushed hard, we’ve done all the work that we can do as a bureau, the decisions are with our bosses as to when actual implementation of the rationalisation can begin.
“That is not surprising given that this issues are intensely political but we maintain the pressure to ensure that we rationalise the number of agencies and parastatals that we have.
“Also, we try to do a bit more to educate even our bosses that the reform of agencies does not necessarily mean closing down some agencies.
“There are some that we can merge; there are others like the NTA and FRCN which we can commercialise to make sure we reduce the burden on the public budget.
“There are others that we can do, including staff auditing in the River Basin Authorities across the country, just to make sure that they have the staff they claim they have.’’
Abah emphasised that the restructuring and reform of agencies do not necessarily mean closing them down and throw everybody out in the street.
He said the agency would break the communication gap in order to make decision-making easier by the bosses.
The director general also disclosed the bureau has been honoured with a Pan-African Public Service Award, in recognition of government’s reforms in its civil service.
He said it was an award of good excellence in service delivery and an award for proactive disclosure of procurement information.
“We helped Nigeria to win an award in public service excellence which was awarded by the Central in Administration for Development (CAFRAD) in Morocco.
“Two members of staff also received presidential commendation for excellence in the civil service.
“We were voted the most transparent agency in Nigeria in terms of procurement by the public private development centre.
“And recently, we were given an award for good governance by the Institute of Service Delivery and Good Governance, we have had a lot of recognition for the work that we do this year.
“ In terms of the actual work itself, we have made a lot of progress in a number of areas, particularly in our reforms of agencies.
“We focus on ensuring that our agencies can work better. We’ve also done significant work to try and reposition our ministries starting with those six ministries that are affected by merger.”