The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has inaugurated the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Anti- Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit (ACTU) with a charge to members to lead the war on corruption by example.
Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye gave the charge at the inauguration and induction of the NSC ACTU members in Lagos on Friday.
Represented by the ICPC Lagos State Resident Commissioner, Kabiru Elelu, Owasanoye, said the responsibility of the ACTU unit will be a replica of the ICPC such that the unit has power to do all that the Commission does except prosecution of offenders.
He therefore urged members of the unit to ensure all the mandates of the ICPC are carried out to the best of their ability.
“The creation of ACTU is a directive from the Federal Government since 2001 for all Ministries, Department and Agencies of government.
“ICPC is not only about enforcement, which is investigation, report of violation of corruption and charging offenders to court where necessary, but it has a unique duty of preventing corruption from happening and educating the public against corruption and these are explicitly stated in the ICPC Act.
“Part of the functions of the ICPC is also to carry out systems study on public institutions to study the practices and procedures in which MDAs do their operations with a view to detecting those areas that are prone to corruption and recommending ways of preventing it from happening.
“We all know the effect of corruption in the country and relatively it can be said to be a major factor that has led us to where we are in the country today, in terms of the economy, cost of living or the security challenge that we have.
“So, for these reasons, I call on members of ACTU and the unit itself to lead by example and be above board. To have been found worthy of membership, you should know that the nomination was not automatic.
“All your curriculum vitae was submitted to ICPC, who screened and asked questions before they agreed you all can be members of ACTU,” he said.
Owasanoye urged members of the NSC ACTU unit to take full advantage of the provisions of the ICPC Act including the provision of funds to enable them carry out their duties without fear or favor especially in the course of an investigation.
On his part, Chairman ACTU, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Oliver Chukwu, noted that the ministry was fully in support of the inauguration and whatever it takes to support the fight against corruption.
He called for regular training for ACTU members noting that the fight for corruption is not an easy task.
“On my own part as the Chairman of ACTU, FMOT, I also support what you are doing and I call for the training of members as the fight for corruption is not an easy thing. Personally, at a point in the Ministry people were calling me a policeman and some were looking at me and planning evil against me but it took the grace of God to make me survive.
“Very soon we will be doing system study. The exercise is not to expose anybody but to find out what your Council is not doing well. If there are loopholes in the processes, they will correct it.
“They (ACTU) are rendering assistance to the Council so it is better they do it and prevent what will be a problem,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Executive Secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime while congratulating the inductees urged them to always maintain a high level of integrity and not give or take bribes.
“You will agree with me that in the public service, government employees are regarded as representatives of the government of the day and therefore are expected to manifest the attitude of zero tolerance to corruption as advocated by the government.
“For us in the Council, our mission statement that promotes an effective and efficient transport economic regulatory system that will contribute to economic growth of the nation has imposed on us additional requirements of higher-level integrity in order to achieve our mission of becoming the nation’s foremost economic regulator.
“I congratulate the inductees and remind them that the task ahead of them is enormous but I have no doubt that they will deliver on this additional assignment of trust given to them,” he said.
Chairman of the newly inaugurated NSC ACTU, Mrs Adaku Okam in her acceptance speech expressed appreciation to the ICPC for endorsing members of the NSC ACTU with the responsibility of preventing corruption in the Council.
She assured NSC and ICPC, under which framework ACTU draws its order and the supervisory ministry, FMOT, that they are together not only by ACTU activities but by nationwide fight against corruption which was also a global agenda.
She pledged that the NSC ACTU unit will serve diligently at all times and in the spirit of commitment to the common goals and in accordance with the principles of NSC and ICPC.
“This is a great opportunity for us and an enormous task. I believe we will bring a special perspective on ACTU activities and sustain a corruption-free organization. We can do it. I therefore dedicate this occasion to all Nigerians in the fight against corruption to save our beloved country.
“Our gratitude also goes to our warm-hearted Executive Secretary, under whose watch NSC ACTU, though not inaugurated, has been able to handle some critical assignments. He has supported meaningful requests from the interim ACTU.
“I therefore have no doubt in my mind that NSC ACTU will enjoy his maximum support in carrying out its activities in line with the standing order,” she said.
The NSC ACTU has Mrs. Adaku Okam as Chairman; Mrs. Nkechi Emeruwa as Secretary; while Mr. Zubairu Muhammed, Mr. John Bongko, Mr..Hamzat Maina, Mrs. Habibat Aminu and Mrs Oriyomi Ige will serve as members.
L-R: ICPC Lagos State Resident Commissioner, Kabiru Elelu; Executive Secretary, NSC, Emmanuel Jime; and Chairman ACTU, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Oliver Chukwu, during the inauguration and induction of NSC ACTU members in Lagos on Friday.