By Ruth Oketunde
Fixing the Future, a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO) has called on public officials to declare their assets, their spouses and that of their children under 21, in accordance with the constitution.
Mr Stanley Ekpa, Founder of the organisation gave the advice while addressing a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Ekpa said it was important that all public officials to comply with the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act on full disclosure of assets and liabilities.
He said a survey on asset declaration compliance conducted by the organisation, revealed that more than 94 per cent of public officials do not disclose their assets fully.
He said that it was discovered that there were newer windows and complex channels for hiding proceeds of corruption, particularly through assets by proxy, block chain and real estate investment.
He said it was important to curtail corruption in public service, as it had continued to drain public finances, efficiency in governance and lower the standard of living in the country.
“We want to draw the attention of public officials within the constitutional contemplation of section 318, paragraph 19 part I and Part II of the fifth schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“That the law requires all public officials, their spouses and their unmarried children under the age of 21 to declare their assets and liabilities in the asset declaration forms as prescribed by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“We are bothered that unless our asset declaration and declared asset verification system is made efficient, contract and procurement corruption will continue unabated,’’ he said.
Ekpa also called on the media and Nigerians to support the Code of Conduct Bureau in achieving its statutory mandate by providing ‘whistle blowing’ information to the organisation.
He added that the organisation would partner all stakeholders to raise awareness with outing, incoming as well as existing public officials on the need to comply with the law.
“We need to know what they have before coming into office and when they are leaving because that is the only way to hold them accountable at the end of their tenure.
“This is the only way the country can make progress,” Ekpa said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam/Sadiya Hamza