By Steve Agbota
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has inaugurated the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Anti- Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit (ACTU) to fight corrupt practices at the nation’s ports.
Chairman of speaking at the inauguration and induction of the NSC ACTU members in Lagos on Friday, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye who was represented by the ICPC Lagos State Resident Commissioner, Kabiru Elelu, Owasanoye, charged the inuagurated members to lead the war on corruption by example.
According to him, the responsibility of the ACTU unit would be a replica of the ICPC such that the unit has power to do all that the Commission does except prosecution of offenders.
He therefore urged members of the unit to ensure all the mandates of the ICPC are carried out to the best of their ability, saying that the creation of ACTU is a directive from the Federal Government since 2001 for all Ministries, Department and Agencies of government.
“ICPC is not only about enforcement, which is investigation, report of violation of corruption and charging offenders to court where necessary, but it has a unique duty of preventing corruption from happening and educating the public against corruption and these are explicitly stated in the ICPC Act.
“We all know the effect of corruption in the country and relatively it can be said to be a major factor that has led us to where we are in the country today, in terms of the economy, cost of living or the security challenge that we have,” he added.
So, for these reasons, he called on members of ACTU and the unit itself to lead by example and be above board, saying to have been found worthy of membership, they should know that the nomination was not automatic.
“All your curriculum vitae was submitted to ICPC, who screened and asked questions before they agreed you all can be members of ACTU,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Executive Secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime while congratulating the inductees urged them to always maintain a high level of integrity and not give or take bribes.
“You will agree with me that in the public service, government employees are regarded as representatives of the government of the day and therefore are expected to manifest the attitude of zero tolerance to corruption as advocated by the government. “For us in the Council, our mission statement that promotes an effective and efficient transport economic regulatory system that will contribute to economic growth of the nation has imposed on us additional requirements of higher-level integrity in order to achieve our mission of becoming the nation’s foremost economic regulator.
“I congratulate the inductees and remind them that the task ahead of them is enormous but I have no doubt that they will deliver on this additional assignment of trust given to them,” he said.
Chairman of the newly inaugurated NSC ACTU, Mrs Adaku Okam in her acceptance speech expressed appreciation to the ICPC for endorsing members of the NSC ACTU with the responsibility of preventing corruption in the Council.
She assured NSC and ICPC, under which framework ACTU draws its order and the supervisory ministry, FMOT, that they are together not only by ACTU activities but by nationwide fight against corruption which was also a global agenda.
She pledged that the NSC ACTU unit would serve diligently at all times and in the spirit of commitment to the common goals and in accordance with the principles of NSC and ICPC.