Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said that the digitisation of government’s activities would help reduce the menace of corruption in the country.
Fayemi stated this while delivering a goodwill message, via zoom, at the 2nd National Summit on Anti-Corruption in the Public Sector with the theme “Together Against Corruption”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with the Independence Corrupt Practices and other related offences Corruption (ICPC).
Fayemi, who is also the Chairman the Governors’ Forum, said that the presence of an anti-corruption agency such as the ICPC should send fear to perpetrators of corruption acts in the country.
“ICPC’s mere presence should send a strong message to those having the intention to commit offences.
“One of the ways to actualise this is to ensure that government businesses are fully digitilised, in a way that interaction between clients and government service providers are almost nil.
“This is because at the root of all corrupt practices is the desire to take advantage of the people because of the physical interaction that often brings about compromises.
“Therefore, the more we deploy communication technology to reduce tempting interaction, the more we are able to reduce corruption and the cheaper and the more effective the ICPC and other sister agencies becomes,” he said.
He, however, said that the commission had done fairly well in prosecution, surveillance and in policy advocacy.
“In spite of this, and even though ICPC has a broader mandate and wider jurisdiction of coverage than other anti-corruption agencies, there is this general perception that ICPC is an invisible commission and less aggressive as others.
“It is often suggested that the foundational leadership of the commission being retired judges were more less combative in their approach to their works.
“It is a considered opinion that the commission should strive to align its strategy with public expectation in terms of perception of its presence and effectiveness.
“Irrespective of this perception though, the reality is that ICPC generally gets more convictions in cases it pursued in courts.
“This testimonial is commendable but I also think ICPC needs to be visible and forceful in the public space,” Fayemi added.
Mr Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said that the fight against corruption was indeed a collaborative issue and no arm of government nor an institution could succeed in the fight alone.
“It is a collective responsibility and we must work hard to establish that spirit of togetherness, that spirit of collaboration and that spirit of cooperation as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
“Equally, we can also appreciate the essence of togetherness and collaboration as it relates to fight against corruption if we take into account the judicial interventions that is equally relevant and necessary for the success of the fight against corruption.
“It is the judiciary that at the end of the day, determine cases that have corruption undertones one way or the other.
“While the executive desires to fight corruption without the judiciary which determine the existence or otherwise of the corrupt practices, the effort would have no effect.
“We can also appreciate the essence of togetherness and collaboration within the context of the fight against corruption if we take into account the need for technological deployment.
“We can see what the Treasury single Account (TSA) has indeed succeeded by way of ensuring transparency in the finances of the government.
He added that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) had also supported the system in tracking the money laundering cases among others.
“We can also see what technology has done in terms of supporting accountability and transparency in the act of governance,” he said. (NAN)