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‘Lack of integrity may undermine national productivity, growth’

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Experts have decried the impact poor integrity in Nigeria’s public and private sector, insisting that this could undermine economic projection and national development.

Speaking during the 2020 edition of Integrity Icon, a programme organised by Accountability Lab Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday, stakeholders noted that integrity across sectors of the economy remained the foundation to the nation’s development.

While urging government at all levels to come up with the right policy that would ensure the right people occupied the right positions, Country Director, Accountability Lab, Odeh Friday Odeh, said without such strategy, addressing some of Nigeria’s challenges may remain a mirage.

 
“We want the best hand, people with integrity, who know what to do, and who will be at the right place at the time,” he said.

According to him, with the right people in public and private sectors, especially those who have integrity, some of the critical challenges such as corrupt practices, which are bedevilling national growth would be sustainably tackled.  

Odeh said: “We have people who steal money meant for infrastructure; people in communities don’t have good roads because people steal this money. The money, which is expected to go back to the economy, is being stolen by some people because of lack of integrity.

“It is painful to find people, who are under government payroll, also working in private organisations, and are collecting double salary without reporting appropriately to the office.  We don’t want this kind of attitude in our society, because people will grow up to learn.”

Urging Nigerian government to improve on transparency, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl Grans, noted that transparency would help the country to reduce the risk of corruption.

Making reference to Sweden, Grans noted that although corruption may not be eradicated in a day, there was a need for strong institutions, education and freedom of speech.

Country Director, DAI Nigeria, Dr. Joe Abah, insisted that integrity would enable the nation to build formidable bedrock for good governance, improve service delivery, and implementation of reforms.

Abah noted that prioritising integrity in the private sector would birth consistency with which organisations comply with statutory regulations, professional ethics and norms in the informal sectors.

Making reference to some treaties, which Nigeria is a signatory, especially article 10 of the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration, he urged public officials to carry out their duties with integrity, justness, fairness and accountability.


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