As part of efforts towards ensuring compliance with ethical conducts in public institutions, there are strong indications that Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission-(ICPC) will introduce an Ethics and Compliance Score Card for use in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government soon.
The indications emerged at the end of a 2-day stakeholders’ validation meeting on the ICPC Ethics and Compliance Score Card held at Rockview Hotel Classic, Abuja on Tuesday, 27th January and Wednesday, 28th January, 2015 powered by the ‘Justice For All’ of the British Council.
Earlier in his remarks, Anti-Corruption Manager of the ‘Justice For All’, Emmanuel Uche reiterated the commitment of the organization to the strengthening of the institutional mechanisms against corruption in Nigeria.
He described the score card as critical to the assessment of the extent of compliance of public Institutions to ethics in Nigeria.
“The 2-day event is part of Justice for All’s support towards strengthening Nigeria’s work in the area of anti-corruption and coordination among different agencies working in justice sector areas. It is supported by DFID and aimed at providing assistance to the ICPC to review its draft Ethics and Compliance Score Card. The Score Card is an instrument of the ICPC to access the level of corruption vulnerability of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Nigeria and will help to strengthen their systems, processes, procedures and mechanisms to ensure that there is reduced vulnerability and the risk for corruption within the ministries.”
Continuing, Uche explains: “the Compliance Score Card will basically help ICPC to check the level of exposure of these Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to corruption and therefore be able to proactively check areas where corruption may likely happen.”
“Nigeria has jumped into the pit of corruption. Coming out of it will require a lot of work, commitment and time. A lot of things need to be put in place and that is what we are putting in place. What we are doing today is one of such things
“When fully implemented, just like the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Nigerians can look forward to an annual score card that shows the comparative level of vulnerability and corruption risk exposure of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs( of the government in Nigeria. The philosophy is the same with the Transparency International anti-corruption Index. The score card is however not based on perceptions, but real assessments.”
Adding her voice, a corruption prevention expert, Isabella Igbokwe described the score card as geared towards enhancing the preventive capacity of the Anti-Corruption Agencies through systems’ review.
According to her, the tool will enable the ICPC to have a platform to assess MDAs comparatively, with the view to finding out their level of compliance with institutional mandate and accountability issues.
“It will create a platform for comparison on the corruption levels of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). This will help them sit up and strengthen their capacities. It will be compulsory for all MDAs to implement it.”
She however advised nnti corruption agencies in the country to sit up and lead by example, describing them as not left out in the assessment.
The score card shall help to set standards for performance, while encouraging Anti-Corruption Agencies to be proactive in their operations, instead of waiting for petitions from the public.
Among the organizations present at the event were: the National Planning Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Sure-P, Ministries of Aviation, Interior, Works and the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
Civil Society Organisations that participated in the meeting include: Integrity Nigeria, Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria-NOPRIN, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC, Center for Citizens’ Awareness-CCA, Say no Campaign, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center- CISLAC, among others.