The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been advised to urgently inaugurate an Anti-corruption, Transparency Unit, ACTU, to assist it in enthroning transparency in the interventionist agency.
Speaking during a two-day Sensitization Workshop for Public Servants in NDDC, in Port Harcourt, the former Director of Public Enlightenment and Education, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, Mrs. Rasidat Okoduwa, said that ACTU would strengthen the Commission’s systems to make it work effectively.
A release by the NDDC Director Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ibitoye Abosede, underlined the theme of the workshop which is: “Using Anti-Corruption Tools At The Workplace.” According to him; “The purpose of the workshop is to partner the anti-corruption agencies in establishing a structure that can maintain transparency in NDDC especially in this post forensic-audit era of our Commission.”
The former ICPC Director, who spoke on “The Impact of Anti-corruption, Transparency and Monitoring Unit and System Study and Review (SS-R) in MDAs,” observed that there was no universal definition for corruption. She, however, remarked that the abuse of office for private gain, only situated the problem in an office setting.
Okoduwa identified some of the drivers of corruption as monopoly of power and larger discretion without transparency, stating that this was a very good recipe for corruption to take place.
As part of measures to check corruption, Okoduwa said that organisations needed to reduce procedural complexities and conduct regular corruption risk assessments. To facilitate this process, she stated that organisations must have in-house mechanisms for corruption prevention and institutional change, noting that organisations should institute reward systems to discourage corruption.
Okoduwa said that ACTU would increase the anti-corruption consciousness among staff through regular sensitisation, suggestion boxes, posters and banners, and setting up of websites to make reporting of corruption easier.
She stressed that increased reporting and collaboration with ICPC. ACTUs were change agents in organisations, adding: “To reposition the NDDC top management must give unwaning support to ACTU, starting with an official inauguration by the ICPC.”
The NDDC Director of Procurement, Mr. Alex Ndudi Enebeli, who represented the Interim Administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, said that the Commission was laying a foundation to sustain transparency and compliance to Nigeria’s code of conduct rules and regulations.
According to him, “we have decided to make the anti-corruption agencies our coaches and allies to help us to get to where we want to be, to strengthen our system and make us more transparent. Since we want to fly, we should associate ourselves with eagles and not chickens.”
Enebeli said that the workshop would ensure that the Commission was better placed to deliver on its mandate, particularly following the forensic audit of its operations from inception.
He said: “This workshop will create a synergy between the Commission and anti-corruption agencies, creating a better and more transparent commission in this post forensic audit era.”
In his own presentation, a resource person from Garden City Premier Business School, Mr. Arimie Biebele, listed the various causes of corruption in public office. His paper entitled: “Understanding Public Procurement Corruption,” identified some of the causes of corruption as greed; weak administration and implementation of government law; acceptance of corruption by the populace; poor remuneration and lack of good reward system; poor education and illiteracy and its consequences.
Dr. Ibitoye Abosede
Director, Corporate Affairs
October 28, 2021