ICPC orders Immigration, PenCom, three others to reform operations
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has ordered five agencies of the Federal Government to reform their activities.
Citing Sections 6 b, c and d of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 which mandate the body to examine the systems and processes of government establishments for corruption-prone procedures and seek reforms, ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, gave the marching order in Abuja during the presentation of reports of system audits on the quintet.
The affected agencies are the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA); Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and National Pensions Commission (PenCom).
During the exercise, the anti-graft body scrutinised the structures, systems, processes, culture and stakeholders’ perception of the departments under review, and submitted its findings to their managements for action.
The reports showed lapses in their systems manifest in capacity gaps in accounting staff; infractions of the public procurement policy, federal character principles and Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Other flaws included the laws setting up the agencies, operational environment, personnel recruitment and welfare.
Owasanoye drew attention to the mandate of the ICPC which combines enforcement, system study as well as review and citizen engagement in a three-pronged approach to anti-corruption crusade.
He underscored the imperative of system review as an effective corruption prevention strategy in the public service, adding that an assessment of a particular agency could be triggered by an investigation, petition or request from government, the agency itself or a whistleblower.
The ICPC boss therefore directed the affected top echelons to implement the recommended quick fixes within three months while the long-term issues, especially the statute-related ones, are being addressed.
Owasanoye raised the possibility of his organisation evaluating more establishments in the future.
The documents were received in good faith, as the managements pledged cooperation.
The Comptroller-General of NIS, Muhammed Babandede, commended ICPC for the exercise, stating that a scrutiny by an external body always provides an opportunity for improvement.
The Acting Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahiru Umar, shared same feeling.
To NEPZA’s Acting Managing Director, Terhembe Nongo, the effort was a great opportunity for his agency to prime itself for achievement of its mandate.
Also, the Executive Director (Technical Services) of REA, Mohammed Wasaram, who represented the Managing Director, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the study was good for self-reassessment.
An FCSC Commissioner and representative of the Chairman, Bello M. Babura, promised a feedback on compliance.