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Don’t use Coronavirus as opportunity to steal, ICPC warns health managers

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As the nation reels from the effect of COVID-19, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has cautioned against increase in risky behaviour hinged on critical desire to respond to COVID-19.

ICPC Spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa who gave this warning yesterday in Abuja, noted that emergency response is not immune to corruption risks, adding,

“As the threat to national livelihood increases, so do the vulnerabilities to dishonesty.” According to Okoduwa, corrupt public and private sector individuals will again test the nation’s anti-corruption architecture and commitment to integrity, insisting that it has happened before and may happen again.  “We have seen corruption in past responses to managing the needs of internally displaced persons, treatment of persons affected by natural disasters or acts of God, delivery of government palliatives for the poorest of the poor,Implementation of policies to address critical economic vulnerabilities such as assistance to SME, poverty alleviation programmes, improvement in education, promotion of agriculture and so on.

These emergencies did not prick the conscience of greedy policy makers and public and private sector implementers of otherwise noble and responsive government policies not to exploit the dire situation to negative advantage. This very attitude of greed and impunity is what has consistently undermined positive outcomes from otherwise well thought-out national response programmes and laid-out plans that covered everything except keeping corruption in implementation at bay.”

While commending all currently involved in responding to the pandemic, Okoduwa reminded health managers to take note and avoid pitfalls such as corruption risks inherent in emergency procurement, non-compliance with laid-down procedures and get necessary approvals.


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