We’ll curb public service corruption with ICT, says Osinbajo
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said that corruption in the public service sector would be effectively curtailed through consistent deployment of Information and Technology Communication (ICT).
Osinbajo who was special guest of honour at the launching of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) of government agencies, operators and stakeholders yesterday, said deployment of ICT remains a key channel to blocking corruption and revenue leakages in the nation’s public service sector.
He gave an example of the success story being recorded in the use of Treasury Single Account (TSA), an ICT based programme to check revenue leakage.
According to the Vice President, the launch of the SOP and PSSP are in line with the resolve of the Federal Government to end sharp practices which constitute a clog in the wheel of the nation’s economic development.
While commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for articulating the scheme under partnership with Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other relevant agencies or stakeholders, the Vice President stressed that strict adherence to the stipulations of the SOP and PSSP will help open the Nigerian business market to more foreign investors, adding that the inauguration of the operating codes are the product of a journey that began in 2011 by the NSC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission(ICPC), as well as the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti Corruption(TUGA).The operating rules he explained would aid free flow of import and export trade in line with global best practices.
Prof Osinbajo also stated that a nation can earn more not only from income, but through efficient management of resources, stressing that Nigeria at all levels of government must move away from running excessive recurrent overheads. He further explained that the Federal Government alone cannot build the nation’s economy but will require the partnership of the organized private sector, saying that the private sector has a huge role to play in building a strong nation.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in his remark said that the initiative of drafting, adopting and harmonizing SOPs of port operations came about because of the need to enhance transparency and accountability, and to pursue user friendly business environment in the Nigerian ports.
Amaechi noted that with the launching of the standard operating procedures, unwholesome practices by service providers at the ports will be greatly reduced or eliminated, saying that the new innovations now provide a platform for easy detection of defaulters and recommendation of appropriate sanction.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said that the Vice President had continued to demonstrate purposeful leadership together with President Mohammed Buhari on rebranding the nation, especially with regard to insisting on global standards, transparency, and accountability. He explained that as a regulator of the nation’s port services, the NSC is committed to a simple and transparent ports services, even as he said the new operating standards will eliminate leakages and delay in clearance of goods.
He however expressed concerns over the need to legislate the new operating procedures to spell out punishments and roles expected of all operators in the scheme.
Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta who was represented at the forum by Bako Adullahi said the process for the origination of the PSO and the PSSP were in 2011 when the ICPC in accordance with its statutory powers, undertook the review of corruption prone systems of government bodies. This he said was followed by training of a pool of certified corruption risk assessors drawn anti corruption agencies, selected states and civil society.
Ahmed Abdul, acting Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), NIMASA Director General, Peterside Dakuku, Immigration Comptroller General, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, all took turn to pledge compliance to the new procedures.