By Folarin Emmnuel, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has charged Business Management Organisations (BMOs) and Professional Associations (PAs) to ensure effective enforcement of their codes of ethics.
Abdullahi Bako, acting Chairman of the commission, made the call at a one-day colloquium organised by the anti-graft agency for BMOs and PAs.
He said business management organisations and professional bodies had a critical role to play in the fight against corruption, especially in the area of prevention.
“The essence of this colloquium is to identify areas in which ICPC can collaborate with BMOs and PAs towards ensuring that their activities are conducted with utmost sense of integrity and high ethical standards tailored at preventing corruption in the system.
“Once that is done, corruption practices such as bribery and gratification, cutting corners, quackery and other infractions in the operations of professional associations will reduce drastically.”
Bako said the commission had embarked on similar interventions in critical sectors such as education, health, transport and water resources.
He said the exercise paid off with the closure of 63 illegal degree-awarding institutions and a fake NYSC orientation camp whose proprietors were currently being prosecuted.
Gad Bako, who represented the Secretary of ICPC, said the forum was in continuation of the commission’s efforts at securing public commitment to the fight against corruption.
“Our partnership with BMOs and PAs like yours is borne out of our belief not only in your contributions to the development of this nation but also as being vital in the pursuit of professional excellence.
“You are in a position to regulate the activities of your members and ensure that their conducts are in consonance with the ethics and values of their professional and in a manner that is devoid of corruption in all ramifications.
“With the increase in the population and the rapid expansion in the membership strength you have witnessed over the years, quacks have infiltrated your ranks and adherence to these codes has become seriously compromised for obvious reasons.
“Working in close collaboration with BMOs and PAS, we will not only block corruption-prone areas in the conduct of professional transactions but also highlight those punishable under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”
The ICPC secretary said the commission began its engagement with professional bodies in 2014 resulting in the infusion of integrity standards into their codes of professional practice.
He listed the bodies to include the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, and the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.
According to him, the Commission has also engaged 18 other BMOs and PAs since then in addition to organising a validation and adoption exercise of the integrity infusions made by ICPC into their codes of the practice.
Bako said the colloquium was a follow-up on the validation done and its positive impact on their activities so far.
He said that the commission would continue to support the BMOs and PAs toward strengthening their codes of professional practice.