ICPC moves to stem corruption in oil sector, says chairman

INDEPENDENT Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Acting Chairman Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar said yesterday the agency will soon review the endemic corruption in the oil sector and proffer lasting solutions.

He said the anti-graft commission will expose the gaps, which some stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have always employed to steal.

Abubakar said the agency has already conducted corruption assessment in aviation, health, maritime and water sectors.

He also said President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil ICPC report on Corruption Risk Assessment of Nigeria’s E-Government Systems, including the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).

Abubakar, who unveiled the plans at a briefing in Abuja, said it is possible to prevent corruption, if the loopholes in the system are blocked.

He said: “Corruption has been with us for ages, but there are measures to prevent people from stealing or engaging in shady deals. It is not only about trying to find A, B, or C as corrupt, but how to prevent people abusing the system to steal public funds.

“From 2015, we have started engaging in corruption risk assessment, which is not only to expose corruption but the gaps which allow people to steal.

“We started with some sectors. We conducted corruption assessment in the aviation sector, we also did in maritime sector (especially ports), health, water and MDAs related to promoting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The last we did was about e-government platforms.

“So, it is a gradual process. Very soon, we will get to the oil and gas sector. We have all heard about billions being lost. Our duty is to examine the system in this sector and see what are these weaknesses that allow for leakages and help people to manipulate the system to the extent that the government is losing this much. But it is not about determining who committed what; it is about plugging loopholes in the system.”

Responding to a question, Abubakar said: “Preventing corruption is part of the mandate of ICPC.”

He said the President will next week unveil ICPC report on TSA, IPPIS and GIFMIS.

Abubakar added: “Recall that the commission had set up a research and training facility known as the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) in Keffi, Nasarawa State, to provide intellectual support to the fight against corruption and to build manpower capacity in Nigerians from across the various sectors to prevent and also confront the scourge.

“Since its establishment, ACAN has executed its mandate creditably, conducting trainings in various fields of anti-corruption, including Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA), which is a veritable tool for preventing corruption in institutions and organisations.

“CRA reinforces the strength of systems of institutions against corruption vulnerabilities and consequently protects their integrity.

“It is on account of lCPC’s successful deployment of this tool in some of Nigeria’s sectors such as Aviation, Ports, Education, etc. that it was deemed worthy of replication on the larger African continent.”

The ICPC acting boss said the commission, through the instrumentality of ACAN, will conduct three-day training from December 10 to 12 for heads of African Union (AU) member countries anti-corruption agencies.

He said: “This will also be in furtherance of the declaration of President Buhari as the African Union’s Anti-Corruption Champion for 2018. The training, it is hoped, will help build the capacity of the beneficiary countries’ anti-corruption agencies on corruption prevention strategy.

“The event will be declared open by President Buhari at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja and the ceremony will also afford him the opportunity to make a public presentation of the Report of the Corruption Risk Assessment of Nigeria’s E-Government Systems, an exercise conducted by lCPC to safeguard the payment systems from corruption.”

News Reporter

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