New members of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the National Center for Women Development have been inaugurated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The inauguration, which took place at the headquarters of the agency in Abuja, saw the new members take their oath of office in a solemn ceremony.
Speaking at the event, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, represented by Mr. Emmanuel Dio of System Study and Review Department (SSRD), noted that the ACTU was very significant to government’s anti-corruption crusades in establishments.
According to him, the ACTU was designed to operate as an autonomous authority with functional linkages to the office of the Chief Executive.
Prof. Owasanoye also remarked that the autonomous status of the unit was not meant to challenge the authority of the management; rather it was to assist in instilling transparency and accountability in the systems.
The Chairman explained further that the ACTU was expected to undertake periodic sensitization of staff; systems study and review of corruption prone processes and procedures; develop a code of ethics or conduct including corruption prevention guidelines for staff, and ensure compliance with same; monitor budget implementation; and as well conduct preliminary investigations of complaints or reports amongst other duties.
In her remarks, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Dr. Asabe Vilitia Bashir, commended ICPC for reconstituting the ACTU, saying that on her assumption of duty, she was briefed that the Ethics and Compliance Scorecard and ACTU Effectiveness Index administered by ICPC put the Center’s level of compliance in question.
Consequently, she added that the report led to the center being classified in the annual ratings as “Corruption High Risk MDA” for the year 2019 as a result of their non-compliance.
According to her, she felt that the report may be viewed erroneously as lack of transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business is at the center of corruption, hence her determination that things must change.
She further stated that management has put in place measures that will ensure full compliance, and block corruption loopholes to safeguard government funds in the centers as well as renew and appraise the existing internal control measures to ensure that the accounting and financial control systems are efficient.
In his acceptance speech, the ACTU chairman, Mr. Tabai David G, promised that his team would work tirelessly to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Unit were met.