The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Dr Ezra Yakusak has urged members of the newly inaugurated Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit to tackle areas that are prone to corruption in the Council.
The NEPC Boss said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration of the new Executive Council of the NEPC Anti-Corruption Unit.
The new members of the NEPC Anti-Corruption Unit were inaugurated by the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye.
Yakusak told the gathering that corruption poses a serious development challenge in the society, adding that it threatens sustainable administrative and economic development by infringing formal processes, thereby destabilizing public confidence in government affairs.
According to him, meaningful progress and development cannot be achieved if concerted efforts are not taken to curb the scourge of corruption in the public service.
He urged the team to conduct a corruption risk assessment by identifying vulnerable areas that are prone to corruption, proffer appropriate recommendation and also develop integrity plans.
The NEPC Boss said this assessment would assist in strengthening accountability and transparency towards enhanced service delivery in the Council.
He said, “I want to assure the Chairman of the NEPC ACTU and his team of my support and cooperation towards executing this onerous task. My doors are wide open for you.
“At NEPC, we are committed to being strategic partners with the ICPC in the fight against corruption. I will therefore call on the Commission to develop ways of engaging the NEPC-ACTU through continuous training retraining.”
Yakusak commended the Chairman of the ICPC, management and staff of ICPC for their support and assistance.
Speaking shortly before inaugurating the Committee, the ICPC Chairman who was represented by the Director, Systems Study Review Dept, ICPC, Mr Abia Udofia, commended the NEPC for creating time for the formal inauguration and induction of the newly reconstituted nominees of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit
He said the event has added drive to efforts of the ICPC in promoting and entrenching values of integrity, accountability and transparency in government’s establishments.
The ICPC Boss said, “The war against corruption by the Federal Government and Anti-Corruption Agencies demands that all public institutions public officers and managers of public funds, are in unison to diminish and eliminate the scourge of corruption
“The Commission notes the efforts of the management of NEPC in constantly striving towards building right ethical standards and a culture of transparency within the Council.
“This position is further confirmed by stakeholders’ testimonies gleaned from your website as well as the result of the 2021 deployment of the ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard in which this Council attained third position with a substantial compliance score of 87 7 per cent out of the 301 MDAS assessed with the Scorecard
“We are of the belief that the diligence of the ACTU in discharging duties, also contributed in the attainment of this enviable score and position.
“Therefore, I implore the management not to relent in its support to ACTU that the Unit may continue to assist management in sustaining it’s legacy amongst other successful MDAS.”
In supporting the Unit, he urged the NEPC management to continue to provide a conducive environment for the Unit to function, provide funds and office accommodation as well as incorporate its members in various Standing Committees as provided for in the extant circular of government Ref No OHCSF/SPSO/CSTD/314/T2/61 dated 5 October 2016
He gave the functions of the ACTU to include constant sensitization of staff on the ills of corruption, implementation of code of ethics, examination of systems, processes and procedures of NEPC that are prone to corruption and proffering solutions, and monitoring projects, programmes and budget implementation of the Council.
Others are coordinating the deployment of the ethics and integrity compliance scorecard and undertaking preliminary investigations into complaints or reports received amongst others.
He emphasized that the ACTU was not established to displace or run as a parallel authority to management, adding that the newly appointed members should be industrious, above board, responsible and responsive in the exercise of their functions.
The ICPC Boss also urged them to avoid questionable acts given the strategic role they are expected to play.
The new ACTU Chairman, Mr Ganiyu Ahmid, who is also the Director ICT Unit of NEPC, assured that the team will not fail in its assignment.
Ahmid said the Unit will carry out its mandate in a manner that would be transparent and in line with its scope of work.
He called for management’s support to enable the Unit discharge its mandate in an effective manner.