Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has retrieved over N13 billion from Federal Ministries, Department And Agencies (MDAs) as surplus of unspent funds.
The Northeast zonal commissioner, ICPC, Sule Yahaya, who disclosed this, expressed dismay that most government institutions in the country have been turned into conduit pipes for siphoning public funds, thereby distancing majority of the rural populace from good governance.
He observed that corruption which is rampant at all level of government, has been the bane of the nation’s sustainable growth and development since independence.
“This paradox is evident in the way statutory allocations and internally generated revenues are mismanaged, and often times stolen with impunity”, the commissioner said.
The zonal commissioner who stated this at a one-day workshop for top local government officials held in Bauchi on Monday, observed that a number of factors account for the wanton corruption at the public sector.
He enumerated the factors as greed and avarice, lack of fear of God on the part of government functionaries, overbearing and domineering attitude of some governors, unwholesome demands and interference by agents of federal ministries, departments and agencies, and excessive pressure from people at the grassroots.
Yahaya explained that the commission irked by pervasiveness of corruption and consequent dilapidation of infrastructure in the society has taken a number of measures aimed at reducing the cankerworm.
He said the commission emphasizes integrity training because of its belief that corruption is a state of mind, as it takes attitudinal change to overcome it.
Alhaji Sule Yahaya said the commission is building and promoting integrity in the public through education and enlightenment, as it pursues its enforcement and preventive mandates of fighting corruption.
He revealed that the commission has received more than 7, 000 petitions from members of the public, a number of which were investigated and many cases prosecuted in various high courts with many convictions secured.
The commissioner appreciated the support and cooperation of Bauchi State government to the ICPC in the fight against corruption, saying the commission is always ready and willing to partner with governments, agencies and individuals to serve as change agents.
Bauchi State commissioner for Local Government, Barr Nasiruddeen Mohammed said that the training is to be conducted in the three senatorial zones of the state with participants from the 20 local government areas of the state.
The commissioner said that the workshop is a collaboration between his ministry and the ICPC Bauchi zonal office and is aimed at instilling transparency and accountability at the grassroots. He expressed dismay that corruption clandestinely erodes the sound foundation of civil society.
“It derails decision making and policy making, thereby impending sound social and economic development. In this sense, corruption is the most serious obstacle to democracy and sustainable development”, he stated.