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IMF visits ICPC, seeks end to corruption

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International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria to address the issues that lead to widespread corruption and its effects on its economy.

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Alin Shane

IMF team leader Mr. Alin Shane gave the advice during a consultation visit to the Independent Commission for Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes (ICPC) in Ahuja on Wednesday.

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Shane said that the purpose of the visit was to involve selected government institutions in the development of their activities and the country as a whole.

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He said his focus on ICPC was due to its role, mandate, cases and convictions, IFF status, civil service reforms regarding ghost workers, job descriptions, and electronic wage payments.

The team also requested to know the efforts made to change the negative perception of corruption in Nigeria, as well as the strategies adopted to address corruption and the successes of those strategies.

He also expressed his expectation that the consultation would address how the Commission addresses the supply and demand aspects of corruption, procurement fraud, and the handling of recovered assets.

ICPC President Prof

In his response, ICPC President Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye stated that corruption was at the root of the nation’s underdevelopment, negative perception and economic problems, and that past surveys and reports had focused on the retail corruption.

“The Commission is investigating grand corruption that has a major effect on the public sector, through the review of the system, triggers that lead to corruption were found and have been significantly mitigated.

“This will lead to fishing for ghost workers and generate significant profits for the government.”

Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Task Team

Speaking about IFFs, Owasanoye informed the team that the Commission was the Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Task Team to Stop IFFs.

He added that the team to end IFFs is focused on the investment environment in oil and gas, as well as the commercial and fiscal sectors to curb transfer pricing, commercial misinvoicing, among others.

Owasanoye further explained that capacity building trainings had been conducted so officials knew what to look for to address issues that help IFFs.

National Ethics and Integrity Policy

The head of CIPC also revealed that with the Commission’s mandate to inform the public and citizen participation, through the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP), it has been able to gradually mobilize citizens and gain their commitment in the fight against corruption.

The Commission, he said, was currently undertaking a project on behavior change that was intended to discourage members of the public from tolerating and participating in corruption and corrupt practices.

Project Tracking Initiative

Speaking about another initiative that focuses on the value for money component, with a focal point on the budget system in which the money is spent, the President explained the progress that CIPC was making through the Project Tracking Initiative. Executives and Circumscription (CEPTI), which is in its 5th phase.

Shedding more light on proceeds of crime and asset management, Owasanoye said the Commission was empowered to seize, manage and dispose of assets.

Federal Government

“The Commission recently began the process of disposing of assets seized from the Federal Government, pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA) 2022, enacted as the Buhari law earlier this year.”

He asked the team to meet with the judiciary and the legislature, as they were key players in ensuring that corruption in Nigeria was stopped.

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Source Credit: NAN

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