Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, yesterday, said Nigeria was battling with endemic corruption that adversely affects the economy.
Owasanoye made the submission at a two-day integrity innovation lab workshop, with the theme: “Core to the implementation of reforms in the public service,” organised by Accountability Lab Nigeria for public servants across the country.
The ICPC boss, represented by Hassan Salihu, an Assistant Commissioner in the commission, submitted: “The growth and development of a nation are tied to the quality of its work force – be it military, paramilitary or civil service – the commission appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with Accountability Lab in building the capacity of civil servants, who are personnel and managers of the Nigerian system.
“It is hoped that this will bring about the much-needed ethical change, especially at a time like this when the nation is battling with endemic corruption alongside other issues such as terrorism, banditry and lately, the upsurge in kidnapping.”
He urged stakeholders to deploy the acquired knowledge in remedying the situation.
Also, the Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of integrity and discipline in public places.
He noted that the workshop was to build public servants towards being persons of integrity to resist corruption in the workplace as integrity icons.
In his remarks, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, said: “Pursuant to the mandate of the bureau, it is its responsibility to initiate, coordinate and ensure full implementation of public reforms in Nigeria.”
He went on: “Reforms cannot strive without a set of ethical values by public officers, and it is obvious that where this set of values is lacking or absent, then issues of credibility and integrity suffice.
“Integrity is a hallmark for driving individuals and corporate businesses, as it sets standards and guidelines for operations within the service.
In her presentation, Assistant Director, Public Enlightenment and Education Department, ICPC, Mrs. Ese Okwong, recalled that the agency had engaged with professional bodies with a view to assisting in redrafting the codes and professional ethics of teachers.