By Franca Ofili
Abuja -The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, said on Wednesday that the scheme would take advantage of its nationwide spread to build a corrupt-free country.
Ibrahim said this in Abuja during the inauguration and induction of members of the NYSC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU).
He added that the scheme would ensure that all departments and units played significant roles in the anti-corruption drive.
“Corruption as we know manifests in different facets of our public and social lives in very negative ways and oftentimes, causing pains and untold hardship to the citizens.
“It goes beyond the issues of misappropriation, bribery in work places, embezzlement of funds, and nepotism, as it slows down the realisation of government objective of providing for her citizens all the basic necessities of life,’’ Ibrahim said.
He said that the scheme began to conceptualise ACTU in association with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in 2002.
According to Ibrahim, the management of the scheme has intensified efforts at preventing any infringement on the laws enabling it through the enforcement of its general operational guidelines.
“Those who attempted to illegally participate in the past through fraudulent means will be prosecuted when discovered.
“It must be noted that the scheme will not entertain any request for respite or leniency by those who deliberately participate illegally and seeking restitution for the illegal act,’’ he said.
He reiterated NYSC’s resolve to build a corrupt-free country for present and future generations.
He promised that the scheme would continue to harness its nationwide spread and strategic position to sustain its collaboration with ICPC for greater success in its anti-corruption war.
The director general, who said that members of the reconstituted NYSC branch of ACTU were selected on merit, urged them to adhere strictly to all the guiding rules without compromising their positions.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanye, Chairman of ICPC, expressed the hope that the reconstituted NYSC branch of ACTU would rid the scheme of fake corps members.
Owasanye, who was represented by Mr Aiyegbayo Olayinka, a Deputy Director in ICPC warned that ACTU was not established to challenge the authority of the management or displace existing operations in the corps, but to complement efforts at instilling discipline and integrity where they were lacking.
The ICPC boss said the members would assist the corps to tackle corrupt practices through periodic sensitisation of staff, preliminary investigations, and review of corrupt-prone processes.
“I dutifully implore you to work hard and refrain from using your office to victimise or intimidate other members of staff, but to gain their support for you to succeed.
“You should always strive to live above board at all times to justify the trust reposed in you,’’ he added.
Mr James Afolayan, NYSC’s Director of Special Duties said that the anti-corruption and transparency unit would educate and enlighten the public on corruption and related offences.
Afolayan added that the unit would monitor budget implementation in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as promote ethics and integrity through enforcing compliance with ethical codes in MDAs.
He said the unit would conduct preliminary and administrative investigation when necessary and undertake the study and review of operational systems of MDAs to improve transparency and accountability. (NAN)