NDDC Restates Commitment To Transparency
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said that, as a follow up to the forensic audit of the Commission, it will continue to work towards ensuring transparency in discharging its mandate to the people of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a two-day sensitization Workshop for Public Servants in NDDC, in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Interim Administrator, Dr Efiong Akwa, said one of the biggest challenges to achieving organisational goals was lack of transparency and integrity.
Akwa said: “This workshop is part of on-going efforts initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari, through the institution of the forensic audit into the activities of the NDDC from inception to make the Commission better prepared to discharge its mandate to the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.”
He stated that the core objective of the workshop is not just to re-orientate the participants to a new ideology of transparency and integrity, but to offer them knowledge and skills required to work more effectively.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said: “The expected outcome is to enhance the performance and job delivery efficiency of all the Commission’s staff to ensure that we are better equipped to offer the Niger Delta region a service that meets their expectations and dreams.
“And this is very vital to the life and relevance of this Commission to be able to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta diligently, efficiently, and effectively.
“As a Commission, the task before us is to establish the institutional framework that will support the prudent and diligent discharge of our duties within the legal and institutional demands for integrity, decency, and due process.”
Akwa observed that the workshop would help to create a new zeal among the staff, encouraging them to become champions for transparency at all procedural and structural levels of work in NDDC.
“The expected outcome is to enhance the performance and job delivery efficiency of all Commission’s staff, to ensure that we are better equipped to offer the Niger Delta region a service that fulfils their expectations and dreams,” he said.
The NDDC boss emphasised that the Commission must be willing to bring change to the Niger Delta region in order for it to fulfil its mandate.
He affirmed: “To achieve our mandate, we must be willing and determined to be the change we seek for the Niger Delta region. We must be willing and ready to comply with the civil service rules, financial regulations, as well as with the ICPC, EFCC and CCB acts and other extant rules and laws in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government, under President Buhari, and our supervising minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, is keen to establish within the Commission, and within us all, a new attitude towards our duties within the workplace.
“If we must become change agents, we must be equipped adequately to do what is right, within the law and our moral obligations. That is the new spirit we must embrace in NDDC. That is the new NDDC we must, collectively, build.
“We owe it to ourselves, this Commission, our stakeholders, and this great region. In the end, we will stand right before man and before God.”
In his presentation at the workshop, Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Professor Mohammad Isah, said corruption is a worldwide phenomenon and regretted that Nigeria was usually presented as a country with a high index of the malady.
Speaking on the topic: “Asset declaration is a variable instrument to prevent corruption in public service,” Isah remarked that Nigeria had established institutions meant to check corrupt practices in the public service.
He said as societies were becoming sophisticated, it was important for these institutions to focus on specialised ways of fighting corruption, noting that there was need for more sophisticated institutions to address the new challenges.
These evolving trends, the CCB chairman said, led to the establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in addition to the Code of Conduct Bureau which was already existing.
In his own presentation, Zonal Commander, EFCC, Port-Harcourt, Mr. Aliyu Naibi, defined corruption as abuse of public office for private gain and detailed various forms of corruption in public service.
“There are economic and social costs of corruption that hamper national growth. Deterrence is now the norm in fighting corruption, not prevention. Deterrence means improving organisational procedures and internal control to reduce fraud and corruption,” he said.