By Philomina Attah
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called for effective implementation of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy to restore the country’s lost values.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the call at a stakeholders dialogue on implementation of the policy for the North Central Zone in Abuja on Wednesday.
Owasanoye said that the document, if well implemented, would resuscitate and rejuvenate the lost values of honesty and integrity in the nation.
The ICPC boss, who was represented by Mr Abdullahi Maikano, a Board Member of ICPC, said corruption had become rampant in the country due to the loss of values of integrity, human dignity, nationalism and participation.
According to him, it is in recognition of the pivotal role value re-orientation plays in the fight against corruption that ICPC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) initiated the policy.
Owasanoye explained that the policy was approved and adopted by the Federal Executive Council on Aug. 19, 2020 and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 28, 2020.
“It is a fact that Nigeria is not lacking in laws and policies aimed at curbing corruption and indiscipline.
“Perhaps, what is lacking is implementation and effective enforcement based on well-designed and implementable Standard Operational Procedure (SOP).
“This is the difference between the National Ethics and Integrity Policy and previous similar policies that have gone moribund and obsolete,” he said.
The Director-General of National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abari said the agency had been an active partner on this policy.
Abari, who was represented by Mr Samuel Soughul, a Director at NOA, said it was the agency’s desire to take the interaction to the grassroots, aimed at covering the entire country for better understanding of the policy.
He urged stakeholders to also take the message home and be agents by enlightening those who were not at the event.
“The difference between this policy and others is that, this makes provision for punishment.
“I assure you that NOA will carry out mobilisation and engage all Nigerians to be part of this policy,” he said.
Also, Rev. Fr. George Ehusiani of the Lux Terra Foundation, during a goodwill message, tasked religious leaders to celebrate those living a life of integrity for the younger generation to emulate.
On his part, Sheikh Fua’d Adeyemi, National Imam/Director, Alhabibiya Society, called for urgent steps to be taken to address the challenges facing the country.
“We all know that we are bleeding. Our country is bleeding and if we refuse to do something, something will definitely happen
“This is why NEIP is timely. We all know everywhere has degenerated. The approach at which ICPC is using is commendable,” he said.
Mr Mohammed Ashiru, Director, Public Enlightenment and Education, ICPC, in a presentation on “Partnership for the Implementation of the Action Plan” advised the society to punish those violating its cherished values by isolating them as well as naming and shaming them.
He added that sustainability of the policy depended on its implementation across all stakeholder groups and enforcement of consequences. (NAN)
•PHOTO: ICPC Chairman, Prof. Owasanoye