The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has presented certificates to 93 local government officials from Akwa Ibom as its anti-corruption ambassadors.
This came at the end of a two-day anti-corruption, ethics and integrity training in Abuja anchored by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training and research arm of the ICPC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that council chairmen were among the participants, drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the certificate presentation, the ICPC Head of Administration, Mr Nathan Bako, said that by virtue of the training, the participants had become champions of the anti-corruption crusade in their state.
Bako, who represented the commission’s Acting Chairman, Mr Musa Abubakar, urged the officials to return home and institute transparency and integrity systems in their respective offices.
He stated that the programme came under the corruption prevention mandate of the ICPC aimed at blocking corruption loopholes in the nation’s public service.
Bako said experience had shown that public enlightenment and sensitisation was a more effective way of tackling corruption than pursuing and arresting suspects, hence the commission’s focus on the former.
He urged the participants to be anti-corruption ambassadors of the commission by preaching the message and implementing what they learnt at the workshop in their respective offices.
The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Nsikan Nkan, thanked the ICPC for the programme, which he described as a huge investment in the future of the state.
Nkan, who represented Gov. Emmanuel Udom, said the state government would deepen its partnership with the ICPC to check corruption in its public service.
He said the state governor was excited about the collaboration, and eager to strengthen it, especially in the area of corruption prevention, through capacity building and education.
The commissioner, also a participant at the training, said it was an eye opener for him and the other participants.
He pledged to put the knowledge and skills acquired to good use back at home.
Provost of the academy, Prof. Shola Akinrinade, said the fight against corruption required hard decisions by those who had elected to champion it.
Akinrinade said,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“We can only teach, educate and build capacity here, it is you the participants that will return to your places of work and ensure that what we have done was not a waste of time.
“If you make up your mind that you will return to your office and institute an integrity system, nobody can stop you.
“If this is not going to be a waste of Akwa Ibom State’s money or a waste of your own time; if it not just an excursion to Abuja, then when we get back home, let’s take a decision to make a difference.’’Mr Ubong Idiong, the Deputy Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Akwa Ibom chapter, described the programme as very rewarding.
Idiong, who spoke on behalf of the 31 local government chairmen in the state, said they were returning home as angels to drive the anti-corruption fight in their respective offices.
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