FG Urges Workers To Foster Culture Of Integrity In Government Businesses 

 

By Olayinka Elebute

 

…. _says Directors should harness collective expertise to drive meaningful change within our institutions_

The Federal Government has called on Civil Servants in the country to uphold the highest degree of principles, standards, transparency, accountability and ethical values in the conduct of government business.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs Lydia Shehu Jafiya gave the advice in Abuja Thursday, when she flagged-off the first sensitization workshop for the year 2024, organised for the Directorate Cadre Officers (GL 15-17) by the Ministry’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) under the Special Duties Department.

She stated that corruption, in all its forms, poses a grave threat to the foundation of our society, as it destroys trust, erodes justice and also impedes progress.

Represented by the Director, Special Projects, Hajiya Aisha Omar, the Permanent Secretary informed that the sensitization workshop provides an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of our systems and practices, guided by the beacon of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), System Study and Evaluation Scorecard

“As leaders entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the public trust, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to integrity and excellence. We must lead by example, inspiring those around us to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and accountability, in accordance with the ICPC Scorecard Template”, she said.

Mrs Jafiya stated that as part of efforts to continue to raise awareness and identify existing gaps in the anti-corruption initiatives that had been put in place by the Federal Government, there was the need to sensitise officers on transparency, discipline and accountability in the service.

The Permanent Secretary informed that the Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), had considered and approved the request of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the establishment of ACTU in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to ensuring that workers properly understand what constitutes corruption and how they could collectively and individually support the efforts of government in checking corrupt practices.

She emphasised the need for civil servants to key into the anti-corruption war of the government, which is one of the operational mantras of the present administration and an integral part of the crusade for national rebirth and social regeneration.

“Corruption goes beyond financial crimes. It includes other forms of malpractices in the conduct of government businesses such as acts of omission, negligence and asking for commission in the discharge of official responsibilities”, Mrs Jafiya said

While calling on the Directors to harness the collective expertise and wisdom to drive meaningful change and foster a culture of integrity within our institutions, the Permanent Secretary said,

“we are expected to engage wholeheartedly and share insights with our wealth of experience and collaborate in charting a course towards a corruption-free future for Federal Ministry of Finance in line with the policy objectives of government. We should stand united in our resolve to achieving this”

The sensitization workshop according to her was put together to conscientize and sensitise the Directors on the need to continue to exercise their supervisory roles of educating staff of the Ministry to imbibe the culture of integrity and shun corrupt practices while discharging their statutory functions as civil servants, with a view to promoting transparency, discipline and accountability at the work place.

“We must all join hands together with the Honourable Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun in his quest to ensure sound work ethics that would position the Ministry, not only as a leading, responsive and responsible Ministry amongst the MDAs with zero tolerance for graft but also in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration”

Earlier in her welcome address,
the Director, Special Duties Mrs. Egundebi Yemisi stated that the workshop aims at providing the opportunity to deepen staff understanding of the systematic evaluation of processes and procedures of systems study and review. “As Directors, it is imperative that we ensure our systems are not only efficient but also seen to be transparent through examination and collaborative discussion, we aim to identify areas for improvement and enhance organizational effectiveness”,

She said that it has become imperative to recognize the importance of the ICPC Scorecard Template in gauging performance and progress towards our goals, stating further that, the scorecard serves as a compass, guiding us towards excellence by providing a comprehensive overview of performance indicators and the benchmarks of Anti-Corruption measures.

“By leveraging this tool effectively, we can measure our success, identify areas of excellence and address issues requiring attention with precision and clarity” , Mrs. Egundebi said

She commended the Honourable Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs Lydia Shehu Jafiya and the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance Mr Okokon Ekanem Udo, for their avowed determination to ensuring the entrenchment of the Anti-Corruption crusade through the creation of an enabling environment to ensure the successful flag-off of the sensitization workshop for the Directorate Cadre Officers in the Ministry.

She expressed optimism that the aftermath of the workshop will spur the Directors to put more effort into combating corruption and anti-ethical behaviour of staff in the conduct of government business.

Earlier in a paper presentation entitled “Integrity
Scorecard and System Study”,  the Deputy Director, “system Study and Review” ICPC, Mr Obaniyi Adebayo said corruption is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society and has portrayed Nigeria in a bad light over the years.

He spoke on the concept of integrity, causes of lack of integrity, indiscipline and corruption as well as practical mechanisms for upholding integrity and combating corruption.

On the importance of ACTU in MDAs, Mr Adebayo said, it promotes and protects the image of the organization, assists in building an honest and transparent workforce as well as supports the Management to efficiently and effectively implement government
policies, projects and programmes.

 

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