The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have called for the implementation of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy to save the country from erosion of ethics and collapse of values.
Speaking at a day stakeholders’ zonal dialogue on the implementation of the policy in Benin City, Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), chairman of ICPC, said it was conceived due to the urgent need to resuscitate and rejuvenate the nation’s lost values and integrity.
Owasanoye, represented by Grace Chinda, ICPC board member representing South-South geopolitical zone, opined that the values of yesteryears of truthfulness, nationalism and respect for human dignity have been lost and that is why corruption has become so rampant in the society.
He further said that for government policies to succeed, they must be people-driven and not government-driven, noting that “this is the difference between the national ethics and integrity policy and previous similar policies that have gone moribund and obsolete.”
The ICPC boss, while listing the specific objectives of the policy to include promoting societal core values of human dignity, voice and partnership, patriotism, personal responsibility, integrity, national unity and professionalism, urged stakeholders to embrace the policy and sensitise their respective constituents on the seven core values of the policy.
As at today, he said the stakeholders’ dialogue had taken place in the North West, North East, North Central and South West zones of the country, assuring that it will take place across the country on zonal basis involving all segments of the society, especially the youths.
He said, “The absence of sanction and reward regimes had been the bane of previous policies implementation procedure. It is therefore our hope that the consequence management and implementation strategy will help in the proper enforcement of this policy.
“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 Procedures (SOP).
“The national ethics and integrity policy is a child of necessity. It is in recognition of the pivotal role value re-orientation plays in the fight against corruption that ICPC, in collaboration with Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the National Orientation Agency initiated the National Ethics and Integrity Policy which was adopted by the Federal Executive Council on 19th August, 2020 and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on 28th September, 2020”.
Grace Eseka, Edo State director of NOA, on her part, promised to continue to collaborate and support ICPC’s vision in rejuvenating, resuscitating the good moral values of the past years, and encourage the citizenry to win and drive the implementation of the policy in the country.
Eseka said the policy was developed in response to the many damaging effects of corruption in both public and private sectors with a view to help restore and revitalise the sectors.
The stakeholders’ dialogue had various religious leaders, women groups, Civil Society Organisations and many others in attendance.