As part of the corrective follow-up measures on the findings of the system study, it conducted on the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has reconstituted and inaugurated an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) for the Agency.
The Commission recently presented the reports of the system study exercises it had carried out on REA and several other agencies of the federal government at its headquarters in Abuja. The reports contained findings that indicated the agencies had lapses in their compliance with public procurement regulations, non-adherence to Federal Character principle, and violations of sundry financial regulations that make them prone to corruption.
Pursuant to its powers under Section 6 (b and c) of the ICPC law, the Commission, therefore, prescribed remedial measures that the agencies would have to comply with.
Therefore, the inauguration of an ACTU (one of ICPC’s key corruption-prevention initiatives) for REA represents the commitment of the Commission to ensuring a corruption-free system for the agency.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony at REA Headquarters in Abuja recently, ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, who was represented by Mr. Emmanuel Dio, of Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Department of ICPC, assured the management and staff of REA that the programmes and activities of ACTU in the agency would lead to minimal corruption and therefore facilitate the maximal achievement of its statutory mandate of providing electricity access to rural communities and across the country.
According to him: “As you may be aware, the provision of electricity access to rural communities, which is at the core of your mandate, is very crucial in making life comfortable for the rural dwellers. Therefore for the agency to maximally achieve its mandate, there is the need for dedicated, transparent and efficient personnel who would adhere to processes, guidelines and extant rules; this indeed is the rationale for setting up ACTUs in government establishments throughout the country.”
“The reconstitution and inauguration of the unit in this agency would promote and entrench the anti-corruption philosophy of the government and further strengthen the existing relationship between ICPC and REA,” he stressed.
Earlier in her welcome remarks the Managing Director (MD) of REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, who was represented at the occasion by Engr. Muhammad Abubakar Wasaram, lamented the effect of corruption on public sector performance in the country and applauded steps taken by the federal government to fight corruption.
According to her: “Corruption has drastically hampered development in Nigeria, and the cost of fighting the scourge appears to be at the expense of funding some critical social services. This is why the government is taking drastic measures through agencies like the ICPC to confront its spread in the public sector.”
Speaking further, she noted that the establishment of ACTUs in government establishments would strengthen the anti-corruption drive of the government.
“ACTU would no doubt strengthen the anti-corruption war in the country. Most importantly, for us at REA this inauguration is a demonstration of the synergy between us and the ICPC,” Mrs. Ogunbiyi averred.
In his vote of thanks, the newly inaugurated ACTU Chairman, Barrister Mathew Onwusoh, who is also the Assistant Director, Performance Management, thanked the management and ICPC for the confidence reposed in the new members of the unit.
He said: “We are ready to work tirelessly and relentlessly to ensure that the ACTU philosophy works in REA. I want to thank ICPC and the management for giving its support towards the realization of this giant stride.”
The programme had in attendance staff and management of the agency.