By Opeyemi Balogun.
As Kogi joins the world to commemorate the International Anti- Corruption Day, citizens and foreigners have been identified as critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption and incidences of corrupt practices.
Kogi State ICPC commissioner, Barrister Chile Ogwuegbu made the statement while delivering his welcome speech on this year’s theme: ‘Recover with Integrity’.
This theme, he said, is most appropriate as regards response to the pandemic.
He noted that, “crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic creates enormous opportunities for corruption to thrive when safeguards are relaxed under emergency protocols, and oversight mechanisms weakened or disrupted in response to such exigencies.
He said as a result of this, corrupt indices corruption risks are heightened in the procurement of necessary services, equipment and materials.
“These risks includes inflation of costs of personal protective equipment, drugs, food items as palliative for citizens, procuring emergency personnel, etc.”
Barrister Ogwuegbu says, the marking of the Anti-Corruption Day on 9th December every year provides an opportunity for countries all over the world to recommit to collective action in preventing and addressing corruption in their individual jurisdiction as well as on the global font.
He, however, reiterated that ICPC will continue to intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office emphasizing that the days of impunity is over.
He warned all those involved in all forms of corruption to desist from such act to avoid the full wrath of the law.
He outlined the ongoing initiatives of of the commission in diminishing corruption to include; the constituency and executive projects in tracking initiatives (CEPTI), review of transactions on the Open Treasury Portal (OTP), Tracking Illicit Financial Flows (IFF), Systems Study and Review of MDAs, as well as appraisal of MDA’s using the ethics and integrity compliance scorecard.
Others are the establishment of anti-corruption transparency units in MDAs’ clubs and vanguards in secondary and tertiary institutions and the engagement of NYSC corp members in anti- corruption activities.