Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has asked Nigerians to move away from the attitude of condoning corrupt leaders so as to tackle the problem of corruption in the country.
Governor Abubakar, who regretted that corruption had impacted negatively on the Nigerian society, made the call at the opening ceremony of a two-day Anti-Corruption, Ethics and Integrity Training for Bauchi State public officers organized by the State Government and the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), Keffi, the training and research arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He said, “One of the cardinal principles of the present administration is to bring about change in all our transactions and do away with corrupt tendencies which have been impacting negatively on our society. However, for change to be effective, we need to have attitudinal change with a view to confronting the numerous challenges of corruption facing us.”
The Governor stressed that with the mantra of zero-tolerance for corruption, Bauchi State had embarked on several anti-corruption reforms to reduce corruption in the state’s civil service for the purpose of ensuring effective service delivery to the people.
He added that some of the anti-corruption reforms which had begun to yield results include the setting up of a Recovery Committee that had recovered properties and money carted away by some officials of the immediate past administration, as well as a Contract Review Committee, which also reviewed major contracts awarded by the last administration in government agencies and departments in the state.
Abubakar further mentioned that the state had introduced an Integrated Financial Information Management System (IFMIS) and staff verification exercises which had led to the blockage of financial leakages in government, aimed at ensuring discipline in the system as well as promoting good governance.
Earlier, ICPC Acting Chairman, Mr. Abdullahi Bako, observed that the training was due given the myriad of problems facing the country resulting from mismanagement of government funds and resources by those in charge of managing them.
Bako, who was represented by the Provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of ICPC, Professor Sola Akinrinade, maintained that the many cases of bad roads, poor health and educational facilities and other basic social amenities spread around the country were brought about by people who had compromised the resources meant for them.
He said the workshop would equip top civil servants in the state with the right ethical values to ensure that government funds and resources were applied for the purposes for which they are meant for.
Also speaking at the occasion, Bauchi State Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Liman Bello, buttressed the fact that the State Government, being aware of the problems of corruption facing the state, had introduced some reforms in the civil service to ensure service delivery.
Bello said that the government took up strategic reforms to reduce the cost of governance in the state by reducing the over-bloated civil service it inherited from the past government and adopting a tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries.
According to him, “The government embarked on the reformation of the civil service by reducing the number of ministries from 26 to 17 and the number of directorates from 349 to 243. The number of Permanent Secretaries was also reduced from 50 to 28.
‘Some other reforms include computerization of civil service and pensioners’ records in the state as well as the adoption of Human Resources Management Information System to control civil servants’ variation in terms of permanent and pensionable appointment, termination, new employment, training and movement of Civil Servants respectively.”
The Bauchi training on ethics and integrity by the ACAN was truly well-organized and equally attended by principal public officers in the state. The Provost of the Institute, Professor Akinrinade was visibly impressed at the opening ceremony at Zaranda Hotel, and one can really understand his feelings. The ICPC staff that managed the secretariat of the training sessions did a marvelous job, as i was privileged to serve as MC, which gave me the opportunity to observe proceedings from critical view.
We appreciate your efforts, and wish you success in this daunting task of fighting corruption in all its ramifications, in a nation that has lost so much to corrupt practices and other related offenses.