By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has expressed dismay that most government institutions in the country have been tuned into conduit pipes for siphoning of public funds, thereby distancing majority of the rural populace from good governance.
“This paradox is evident in the way statutory allocations and internally generated revenues are mismanaged, and often times stolen with impunity”, the commission said.
The Commission’s Northeast Zonal Commissioner, Sule Yahaya observed that corruption which is rampant at all level of government, has been the bane of the nation’s sustainable growth and development since independence.
The zonal commissioner stated at a one day workshop for top Local Government Officials holding in Bauchi Monday, noted that a number of factors account for the wanton corruption at the public sector.
He enumerated the factors as greed and avarice, lack of fear of God on the part of government functionaries, overbearing and domineering attitude of some governors, unwholesome demands and interference by agents of federal ministries, departments and agencies, and excessive pressure from people at the grassroots.
To this end, the commissioner disclosed, the commission has retrieved over N13 billion from Federal ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) as surplus of unspent funds.
Yahaya explained that the commission irked by pervasiveness of corruption and consequent dilapidation of infrastructure in the society has taken a number of measures aimed at reducing the cankerworm.
He said the commission emphasizes integrity training because of its belief that corruption is a state of mind, as it takes attitudinal change to overcome it while integrity galvanizes attitudinal change, hence s sine qua non to fight against corruption.
Alhaji Sule Yahaya said the commission is building and promoting integrity in the public through education and enlightenment, as it pursue its enforcement and preventive mandates of fighting corruption.
He revealed that the commission has received more than 7, 000 petitions from members of the public, a number of which investigated and many cases prosecuted in various High Courts with many conviction secured.
The commissioner appreciated the support and cooperation of the Bauchi state government to the ICPC in the fight against corruption, saying the commission is always ready and willing to partner with governments, agencies and individuals to serve as change agents.
Declaring the workshop open earlier, Bauchi state commissioner for Local Government, Barr. Nasiruddeen Mohammed said that the training is to be conducted in the three senatorial zones of the state with participants from the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
The commissioner, who said that the workshop is a collaboration between his ministry and the ICPC Bauchi zonal office aimed at instilling transparency and accountability at the grassroots, expressed dismay that corruption clandestinely erodes the sound foundation of civil society.
“It derails decision making and policy making, thereby impending sound social and economic development. In this sense, corruption is the most serious obstacle to democracy and sustainable development”, he stated.
Barr. Nasiruddeen Mohammed noted that corruption has spread its tentacles to virtually every public institution, assured of the state government’s willingness to align with the ICPC to reinforce the fight against corruption by strengthening the rule of law and justice throughout the state.
He regretted, “Corruption takes many forms and can be interpreted by many people in many ways. It is hard to enter any sector in Nigeria without observing one corrupt practice or the other”, expressing confidence that the workshop will establish a cornerstone of anti-corruption strategy in Bauchi State.