By Okeoghene Akubuike
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has inducted seven members of its staff into the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the agency.
Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General of NBMA, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the inauguration and induction of the ACTU of the agency in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ebegba said that the Federal Government, particularly the current administration had taken major steps to prevent and fight corruption, which had come with its own challenges.
According to him, the essence of inauguration of ACTU is to ensure due diligence in the activities of the agency; fraud is prevented and detected and prosecution takes place, if need be.
Ebegba said that it was better to prevent fraud because prosecution cost a lot of resources.
“So, it is important this unit is inaugurated today so that any act of fraud or any act that will militate against interest of this agency and the Federal Government can be prevented,” he said.
Ebegba said that the seven-man unit made up of three women and four men were carefully selected from various units and departments considered important and cut across various transactions in the agency.
The director-general gave his assurance that the management would not hesitate to remove anyone whose conduct does not further meet up with the requirements of the officers of the unit.
Ebegba thanked the team from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), who came to inaugurate the new members.
While congratulating the new members of the unit, he urged them not to wait for fruad to be committed, saying “your watchword should be prevention”.
Commenting, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC Chairman, said that the vision of the agency could not be achieved in an environment that tolerates opaque and corrupt practices.
Owasanoye, represented by Dio Emmanuel, Chief Superintendent, ICPC, said that the ACTU was there to assist the management of the agency in achieving a corrupt-free work place.
He said the that ACTU Initiative was not intended to subsume the authority of management under its wings, but rather to complement it.
Owasanoye said that the unit would complement the management, especially in mainstreaming a positive integrity and accountability culture in the organisation.
“I would, therefore, like to request for the full support and backing of the management for the success of the unit, especially in providing adequate funding for its duties.
“To the newly inaugurated members, I congratulate you for being found worthy to serve in this capacity.
“I implore you to showcase high ethical standards and sterling examples worthy of being emulated,” he said.
The ICPC chief said he hoped that by the inauguration, the relationship between the ICPC and the NBMA would wax stronger for the overall growth and progress of the county.
In his remarks, Jimi Oguntade, Chairman of the newly inaugurated Unit in the agency, appreciated the director-general for carefully selecting them to be part of the unit.
Oguntade, who spoke on behalf of the newly inducted members, promised that they would give their best, be transparent and deliver their task without fear or favour. (NAN)