By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has inaugurated the Anti-Corruption Transparency Unit (ACTU) at the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) to serve as internal mechanism for effective implementation of programmes.
The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his addressed said that ACTU was an initiative of the commission and approved by the Federal Government.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Owasanoye was represented by Mr Olayinla Ayigbayo, the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Division in System and Review Department of ICPC.
According to him, it was to serve as an in-house check mechanism for corruption prevention within MDA’s and public bodies.
“The NPC, act as a buffer between the media, mostly the print media and the public. It ensures the maintenance of the highest ethical and professional standards in the print media in Nigeria.
“The ICPC in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation in 2001 initiated the creation of ACTUs in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prevent lapses in government operation system.
“Consequently, the NPC would benefit greatly when the ACTU start to implement the assigned roles of system study and review, and advising the management in blocking some loopholes.
“Also, when the unit receives complaints and the issues is beyond them, they would refer it to higher authority.
“The ACTU needs the strong support of the management to work better in terms of provision of office and adequate funding,” Owasanoye said.
Owasanoye admonished the members of ACTU in NPC not to use their position to witch hunt the management.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary of NPC, Mr Francis Nwosu, commended ICPC, adding that the selected members were men and women of integrity, quality and character.
“I am sure that they will do their best to achieve the objectives of the unit in NPC.
“We appreciate such a watch dog that will see that work ethics and standards are taken care of in terms of anti-corruption,” Nwosu said.
Also speaking, Mr David Adeniken, the Director of Finance and Accounts in NPC said funding had been a challenge for the council.
According to him, the financial systems of operations in Agencies are totally different from that of the core ministry.
He said that the budget template for the Council does not make provision for ACTU, stressing that all expenditure are centralised.
The Chairman of the ACTU, Mr Lanre Mohammed, in his acceptance speech appreciated Nwosu for finding him and his members worthy for the task.
“I know the task is challenging, but I promise not to betray the confidence and trust reposed in us.”
NAN reports that a high point of the occasion was the taking of oath of office by the members of the unit, administered by a lawyer from ICPC, Mrs Alice Bolarinwa.
Other members of the ACTU are Mrs Anthonia Onyeneke, Mr Elem Oko (Secretary), Mrs Judith Owolabi and Mr Vandu Ibrahim. (NAN)