With a view to strengthening transparency and accountability, in the execution of government policies and functions, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, has urged Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units (ACTUs) across MDAs to, consistently, demonstrate unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption in the Civil Service.
Dr Yemi-Esan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Common Service Office, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Ahaji Yusuf Ibrahim Idris, made the call during the inauguration of a repositioned Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit in the OHCSF on Thursday, August 25, 2022.
She stated that the fight against corruption remains a top priority of the government of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, adding that there is the need to make deliberate efforts to strengthen anti-corruption reforms in the various Ministries, extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
While recognising the strategic role of ACTUs, in the MDAs, she stressed that this was borne out of government’s desire to change the narrative and make concerted efforts at identifying and closing existing gaps in the Anti-Corruption Initiative.
Dr Yemi-Esan, further said that there is the need for unwavering commitment and diligent pursuit of policies that seek to promote transparency, accountability, while discouraging, as well as sanctioning all forms of corrupt tendencies amongst Civil Servants.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo, recall that following the return of democracy in 1999 and the consistent effort at promoting transparency and accountability in the conduct of government businesses, the Federal Government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) directed the establishment of ACTUs in every MDA, to provide the Institutional framework required to combat corruption at the Ministerial level.
He advised that the fight against all forms of corrupt tendencies should, always, remain the centre of our efforts at entrenching and promoting transparency and accountability towards achieving corruption-free MDAs.
According to him, the inauguration of the reinvigorated Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit and induction of the Committee members for the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, will no doubt be a re-birth of the anti-corruption drive in the Organisation.
He presupposes that the guidelines for the operation of ACTUs, when fully established in the OHCSF, will assist the anti-corruption Commission in regulating and ensuring compliance with the directive to establish and strengthen the Units, across all MDAs.
In his address, the Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, represented by Dr Louis Mandama, said the establishment of ACTUs in MDAs is underpinned by the fundamental belief that the Public Service, being the channel through which government policies and programmes are implemented, must live up to expectations by discharging, efficiently and effectively.
He also disclosed that ACTU was set up as an in-house check mechanism to assist management of MDAs in corruption prevention and entrenching ethical principles within their organisations.
Dr. Mandama further stated that the Commission, since the establishment of ACTUs, used to enjoy robust collaboration with the OHCSF on the oversight of ACTU operations, particularly, and in the issuance of relevant circulars such as funding and inclusion of ACTU members in relevant committees, posting of Heads of ACTU to respective MDAs, conducting advocacy visits, as well as holding peer review sessions.
He asked ACTUs to maximise their potentials, while calling on the OHCSF to set up a committee to assist the ICPC in enforcing MDAs’ compliance on the establishment and operations of ACTU, which, in the long run, will help to improve the image of the Service and the overall fight against corruption in the polity.
M. A. Ahmed,
Deputy Director, Communications.