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February 21, 2024

Centre tasks MDAs on fight against corruption

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By Emmanuel Afonne

Mr Umar Yakubu, the Executive-Director, Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTiW), has called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to raise the bar in the fight against corruption to save the economy from collapse.

Yakubu made the call in Abuja on Thursday at a workshop/presentation of the Transparency and Integrity Index methodology handbook on anti-corruption.

He said the handbook was expected to promote transparency, develop strong preventive mechanisms against corruption.

Yakubu added that the handbook would assist public institutions to improve their performance across the various indicators used for ensuring compliance to public regulations.

“The Transparency and Integrity Index (TII) methodology, therefore, employs a six parameter indices to benchmark the performances of MDAs toward good governance in certain critical areas.

“They are website integrity, fiscal transparency, open procurement and contracting, budget implementation, inclusion and citizens engagement, as well as human resources,” he said.

Yakubu noted that the purpose of the programme was to draw the attention of government at federal, state and local level, of the criteria set out to promote transparency in governance across five major thematic areas.

“When we started in 2021, the highest score was 32. 9 out of 100 marks but in 2022, the Development Bank of Nigeria scored 52, so if you can get 20 percentage increase within one year, I think it is a good development.

“But, a lot of other agencies are not doing so well but with this kind of engagement, we expect them to improve.

“What we assess is the availability of the information on the website, and we are collaborating with other CSOs on anti corruption to ensure that the information being put out is actually true.

“The impact of this workshop on the economy is the prevention of corruption, because we have enough institution combating corruption and we can prevent it before it happens which is a lot cheaper.

“Prosecuting corruption is not cheap and most of the time, it is difficult to get the assess to recovery, so the whole message is about prevention of corruption which cascades into good governance,” Yakubu said.

Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR), in his assessment of MDAs said that they would continue to work with CeFTiW to deepen transparency and accountability across public institution.

Arabi said the workshop was aimed at acquainting participants with the requirements necessary for them to discharge their duties creditably, as well as ensure the principles of accountability and transparency in their respective organisations.

“The Bureau drew her inspiration to partner with the CeFTIW on the Transparency and Integrity Index (TII), based on her strategic role as a driver of Public Service Reforms across MDAs.

“Public Financial Management of the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms seeks to achieve strategic, efficient and effective mobilisation, allocation and use of public resources as well as ensure fiscal discipline, transparency, integrity and accountability through timely reporting.

“This position is also reinforced by the BPSR role as a member of various Inter– Ministerial Anti-Corruption Agencies, and the underlying objective of driving public engagement in line with its statutory role in the implementation of this objective.

“It is also informed in the quest to put in place machineries and institutional arrangements aimed at providing a common vision and long-term agenda to position the country among major player in the global economy in year 2050

“This workshop/presentation of Transparency and Integrity Methodology Index Handbook is coming at the backdrop that during the 2022 Transparency and Integrity Index, it was evident that most Public Institutions were yet to be versatile with the parameters used for ranking.

“This is owing to low– level of awareness and compliance levels in the parameters used for ranking amongst MDAs,” Arabi said.

Amb. Angela Nworgu, BoT Chairman, CeFTiW, said that transparency must be embraced as an essential principle of good governance.

Nworgu noted that transparency was an important tool with which citizens use to hold government accountable, promote trust in government, and foster a thriving ground for integrity.

“The TII serves as a powerful tool to promote transparency, monitor public sector expenditure, and strengthen the integrity mechanisms of public institutions.

“And through this assessment, we hope to make a long-lasting impact in fostering a culture of openness and accountability within the public sector,” Nworgu said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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