National Orientation Agency to promote values to curtail corruption

National Orientation Agency (NOA), has reiterated its resolve to promote values that will erode corruption and sustain a desirable Nigerian society.

The Director-General of the Agency, Dr Garba Abari, said this at the procurement anti-corruption enlightenment programme organised by NOA for procurement officers in Abuja.

According to him, corruption is a serious problem that is detrimental to the social and the economic development of any country.

He said that the all too familiar acts of corruption had remained with mankind through civilization.

Every government since independence has had to mention the word in its maiden speech and prescribed means to deal with it.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to resolve this problem; the monster is getting stronger and smarter by the day.

The resultant effects are poor infrastructure, weak institutions and insecurity of lives and property, Abari said.

The NOA boss said it was this concern that necessitated the management’s decision to organise the programme to deliberately target the procurement sector.

He noted that the procurement sector had been identified as a major platform through which corruption thrived.

He said that NOA as an organ of government was deliberately collaborating with the Bureau of Public Procurement as the umpire of all procurement matters and processes.

It is evident that corruption is the bane of every society; it threatens the moral, institutional and political fabrics of the society.

When the money meant for development is diverted into personal purses, the uses to which the funds ought to have been put to meet societal needs suffer neglect.

But corruption in public procurement is not just about money; it includes reduction of quality of services, which can cost lives.

People in many parts of the country have paid the ultimate price for collapsed buildings and counterfeit medicines.

The end result is that the citizens’ trust in their leaders is eroded, he said.

Mr Mamman Ahmadu, the Director- General, Bureau of Public Procurement, who was represented by Mr Adebowale Adedokun, a senior official of the bureau, said that knowledge was the key to understanding the process of procurement.

Credible public procurement systems must be such that allow citizens to hold government, bidders and contractors accountable for their actions.

The Bureau of Public Procurement has provided access to information and effective complaint mechanisms, whereby citizens report suspected corruption cases confidentially without threat.

Ahmadu said that one way to stem corruption and insecurity in society was to ensure rigorous development and implement sustainable public procurement policies at all levels.

Earlier, the Director of Procurement in NOA, Mrs Remi Afolabi, explained that procurement could be used in checking corruption if appropriately implied.

She said that the NOA’s mandate included enlightenment, mobilisation, communicating government’s policies and programmes as well as providing feedback to government about the feelings of the people.

The Bureau of Public Procurement was established by Act 2007 as the regulatory authority responsible for the monitoring and oversight of public procurement.

It also harmonises the existing government policies and practices by regulating, setting standards and developing the legal framework.

Source: Voice of Nigeria