James Ojo, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has discovered operational systems aiding corruption in some government agencies.
This was after ICPC conducted system study exercises, in accordance with section 6 (b, c and d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The section mandated the Commission to examine the systems and processes of government establishments for corruption prone procedures and direct reforms that will curb it.
Caught in the web were the Federal Civil Service Commission(FCSC); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA); Rural Electrification Agency (REA); and National Pensions Commission (NPC).
Receiving the report of the examination, ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye warned against non-compliance with the system put in place to stamp out corruption in service delivery to the public.
According to the Commission’s spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, the chairman pointed out some faults and lapses in their systems and processes.
Chief among which are capacity gaps in accounting staff; infractions in the operation of the public procurement policy, Federal Character Principle and Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
“Other flaws had to do with the legislations setting up the agencies, operational environments, personnel recruitment and staffing issues,” she noted.
The ICPC chairman also drew attention to the Commission’s mandate, which combines enforcement, system study and review, and citizen engagement as the necessary three-pronged approach to combating corruption.
He directed the management of the organisations to implement the quick-fixes prescribed within three months, while the long-term issues, especially statute-related ones, are being addressed.
Prof Owasanoye revealed that the Commission will monitor compliance and also at the expiration of the deadline conduct further system studies.
The results, according to him would determine the application of thr enforcement powers on officials found to have committed infractions or ignored its directives to diminish corruption.
IN his response, NIS Comptroller General, Muhammed Babandede, commended ICPC for the review and stated that scrutiny by an external body always provides an opportunity for improvement.
He gave the service’s commitment to effecting the recommendations of the report while also outlining many reforms introduced in NIS under his administration to stem corruption.
For the acting PENCOM Director General, Mrs. Aisha Dahiru Umar, she expressed gratitude to ICPC for carrying out the exercise. She said the report would serve as a useful guide for her Commission for improved processes, and noted that since the system study and review was conducted, many remedial actions had already been taken to correct the defects identified.
In his own response, NEPZA acting Managing Director, Engr. Terhembe Nongo, noted that the system study was a great opportunity for the agency to prime itself to achieve its mandate. He acknowledged that the findings of the report were “flawless”, and promised to ensure that all its recommendations were adhered to.