Celebrated integrity Icon and public servant, Christian Ahiauzu on Friday identified non-adherence to public procurement act by government ministries, departments and agencies as the most common means of fraud in public service.
Ahiauzu laid bare his mind during a special radio town hall meeting against corruption, organized by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, with the support of MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.
Ahiauzu who emerged the Integrity Icon of 2019, organized by Accountability Lab Nigeria noted that inappropriate implementation of the 2017 public procurement Act by government offices remains the biggest challenge in entrenching transparency in the system.
“If the 2017 public procurement Act is well implemented and executed, it will go a long way in guaranteeing transparency and a corrupt-free procurement process.”
Ahiauzu said that as much as the challenge of being an upright public servant is massive, it has earned him enormous respect among his peers, colleagues and environment.
A participant, Raji Adiba and friend of Ahiauzu who said the Integrity Icon’s behaviour reinforced his own will to do the right thing, opined that procurement process is the major means of corruption in government offices.
He reminded Nigerians that they have a huge role to play in ensuring transparency and accountability in public service.
On his part, Vershima Tingir, Team Lead, Public and Private Development Centre, PPDC, said that eradication of corruption in the public procurement process lies on making the process independent of interference by government officials. He also accused government officials of abetting corruption in the procurement process.
He lamented that these officials collaborate with private companies, and individuals to bid for government contracts which undermines integrity of the process.
Also during the meeting, Charles Mbah, the Programme Lead, Dataphyte, emphasized that availability of quality data is a challenge in the fight against corruption. Alleging that politicians, persons of interest fight against data analysis that can expose corrupt deeds through bribery and other forms of corruption.
Mbah, however, called on governments at all levels to make available corporate data to aid accountability.
Representative of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Prince Chimaraoke Chukwuka who added his voice to the conversation, noted that Nigeria needs to have the right people in leadership positions for the country to take its rightful place in the committee of nations.
PRIMORG’s radio town hall meeting against corruption series is a collaborative effort with Accountability Lab Nigeria, to tell the stories of integrity in the public place with support from the Macarthur Foundation.
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