…Policy to curtail graft, indiscipline long overdue-Abari, NOA DG
Soni Daniel, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission, has taken steps to fashion out a National Policy on Ethics and Integrity for Nigeria.
To this end, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, organized a virtual meeting of stakeholders drawn from all sectors of the Nigerian economy, to unveil the framework for the new policy, which is being jointly pursued with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the National Orientation Agency, NOA.
Owasanoye explained that the draft policy, which was developed many years ago but was stalled, needed to be revived given the important role of ethics and integrity in the fight against corruption and nation development.
Owasanoye said: “This event is not a discussion about what led to collapse of ethical values. It is not a discussion on what activities and sanctions will be applied for violations of ethical standards. It is not about what should be done to mobilize citizens. Today’s conversation is about what pillars government should base its National Ethics and Integrity Policy upon. Although we are not entirely in the dark as you will find out today that the Constitution and some laws actually provide a framework that could have made today’s conversation unnecessary,” the chairman explained.
In his paper, the NOA DG, Dr. Garba Abari, said that a national policy on ethics and integrity was long overdue given the numerous challenges facing the country and expressed delight over the move by the ICPC to get one ready for the country.
Abari said: “A National Policy on Ethics and Integrity is long overdue considering the fact that the issues we are dealing with – “Ethics”, “Values” and “Integrity” are just as old as man. But much more, they are at the heart of the destinies of individuals, communities, organisations and nations.
“It is true Nigeria like many other countries in the world has witnessed a disturbing slide in our ethical conduct and in upholding the cherished values that define us as a people. As we continue to cross-fertilise ideas on how best to fine-tune and improve on the draft National Policy on Ethics and Integrity, a critical component that deserves our attention is how contents of this policy can be brought to the door steps of every Nigerian in the most pedestrian manner that inspires them to not only own it, but to submit to its principles and comply with its provisions in the best interest of all our peoples and the development of our dear country.
Abari, however, regretted that despite numerous efforts by the previous and present administration to stamp out the monster of corruption and indiscipline from our national life, the refusal by the citizenry to imbibe and internalize the different ethical programmes has left the country groaning under the weight of social vices.
“That our ethical standing and values decadence have sadly descended into the abyss remains the stark reality that stirs us in the face today and which we must collectively deal with if we must restore our national pride and integrity and as well lay a solid foundation for a prosperous and virile nation that shall be the envy of her peers,” Abari pointed out.
The NOA boss also suggested the development of a communication policy to drive the national ethical and integrity policy which he said, should be coughed in the language best understood by each Nigeria so as to make the required impact.
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