Anti-Corruption: FG Urged To Ensure Adherence To Procurement Law

… urge Bauchi Govt to intervene in alleged extortion of A.D. Rufai College of Education students

Worried by rising cases of fraud in public service, stakeholders in the anti-corruption campaign have urged President Bola Tinubu to leverage the enforcement of procurement and assets declaration laws to advance Nigeria’s anti-graft war.

The anti-corruption stakeholders also chastised the management of A.D. Rufa’i College of Education, Legal and General Studies, Misau, Bauchi State, for extorting students in the name of different fees without providing services to the students.

They called on the state governor, Bala Mohammed, to intervene and bring the fleecing of the students to a halt as soon as possible.

Co-Publisher/Managing Editor, Wikki Times, Ajibola Amzat led the call during an anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.

Participants during the anti-corruption radio programme.

Amzat, who was speaking on the need to promote integrity and anti-corruption norms by the government and citizens, asserted that enforcement of public procurement, Freedom of Information (FOI Act), and assets declaration laws can help the Tinubu-led administration better advance the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

He noted that Nigeria is not in short supply of laws that prevent or tackle corrupt acts but is suffering from lack of enforcement and consequence for actions.

“Corruption is worsening in the country because people are not punished appropriately for their crimes; leaders are not accountable to the masses.

“There are different ways the president (Tinubu) could tighten the system and prevent corruption, and it can be by ensuring public officers adhere to procurement laws, FOI Act and assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

“Because when you look at the rising number of corruption cases since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, you will wonder if anti-graft agencies are doing their jobs, but there are enough regulations that should check bad behaviours in the public sector,” Amzat stressed.

Speaking on an investigative corruption report published by Wikki Times indicting the management of A.D. Rufa’i College of Education, Legal and General Studies, Misau, Bauchi State of extorting students in fees payment, Amzat called on Governor Bala Mohammed to intervene as soon as possible.

He regretted that integrity and standards are falling in Nigerian society right from the family structure, which is a manifestation of booming corruption in the public sector. He added that “parents, religious bodies, institutions and CSOs should prioritize the teaching of ethics.”

Presenters of the radio programme.

Similarly, Programme Officer, Integrity Organisation, Maria Gowon also called on the Federal Government to create a good framework for enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

According to Gowon, the National Ethics and Integrity policy and other laws can be leveraged to fight corruption, whether it is in the public or private sector, noting that application and enforcement of these laws remain the main challenge.

To promote integrity in the country, she urged President Tinubu to lead the line in Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight, while urging citizens to report cases of bribery and procurement fraud.

“I believe it begins with a very strong tone at the top among the leaders at Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, I believe ethical training and integrity training are good practical steps.

“There should be capacity building, teaching of ethics and rapid response to corrupt acts by officials in the public sector in order to deter others,” Gowon stated.

She, however, urged students in tertiary institutions across the country to emulate students of A.D. Rufa’i College of Education, Legal and General Studies, Misau, Bauchi State and report all forms of extortion by the management of their institutions to journalists.

From left: Co-Publisher/Managing Editor, Wikki Times, Ajibola Amzat; PRIMORG’s Research & Media Asst., Esther Bassey; Programme Officer, Integrity Organisation, Maria Gowon; and PRIMORG’s Media & Communications Officer, Chidozie Ogbonnaya.

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program PRIMORG uses to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.

The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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