Abuja – Mr Ekpo Nta, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has said that Nigerians must resolve to reduce corruption to the barest minimum by eschewing and acting against it.
He stated this on Friday while speaking to participants of 21st session of Policy, Strategy and Leadership course of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studeis (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, at the commission`s headquarters in Abuja.
The course which was initiated eight years ago by NIPSS is aimed at creating a critical means of getting technocrats involved in policy making for national development.
Speaking on “The Role of ICPC in the War Against Corruption: Mandate, Strategies and Challenges’’, Nta said that corruption was a huge challenge that confronted the nation and manifested at all levels.
He said that the menace was a global phenomenon which was not restricted to Nigeria.
According to him, corruption is more prevalent where there is systemic failure, bad governance and poor value orientation.
He stressed that it was regrettable that in spite of the various legislations against corruption in the country, it still persisted, as the legislations seemed not to be helping the issues.
The ICPC boss, therefore, called on the legislature to review corruption laws in the country to ensure greater operation, efficiency and deterrence.
He said that though public perception was that the commission was only engaged in prosecuting corrupt government officials because of the sentiments attached to it, it was focusing on other corrupt practices.
These, he said, included land administration in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the monitoring and implementation of specific government policies.
He said that ICPC was collaborating with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in some of the assignments.
Nta said that the commission was presently investigation a state where public funds had been transferred into three different bank accounts, adding that the details would be made public in due time.
He further said that the commission had so far recovered billions of naira in cash and forfeited assets, stressing that it was also conducting systemic study in some conditions in some universities.
He said that the measure followed reported cases of student harassment in some universities in the country.
Nta added that ICPC was also reviewing the country’s primary health care system in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to address its decay over the years.
He listed societal values, tolerance, political and socio economic policies, weak government institutions and restriction of ICPC prosecution to State High Courts as some of the challenges facing the commission.
He also said that inadequate protection of whistleblowers and threats to officials were some other challenges facing the commission.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the course participants were drawn from the military, the Police and other government agencies.
The 21st session of the course focused on corruption in the country and the indices driving it. (NAN)