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HomeNIGERIAIntegrity in public service: FCTA to unveil reward programme

Integrity in public service: FCTA to unveil reward programme

 

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will soon unveil a program to reward and acknowledge public servants who distinguish themselves in the display of honesty and integrity.

The Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, FCTA, Dr Jummai Ahmadu disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a Radio Town Hall Meeting Against Corruption.

Dr. Jumai who was represented in the by Festus Fifen commended a staff of the FCTA, Justina Ogumelen, an Integrity Icon Awards winner for displaying integrity, commitment and honesty which led to her recognition.

Dr. Jumai said under the rewards program, public officials who display integrity will be recognized and rewarded.

Stakeholders during the well attended Town Hall Meeting identified
poor remuneration, influence by political leaders and systemic pressure, as some of the reasons integrity is in short supply in the public service

A retired Director at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Anthony Ani and ‎Senior (Program) Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Austin Aigbe, were among those who spoke at the special Radio Town Hall Meeting Against Corruption organized by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, with the support of MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.

The meeting was also used to celebrate a public servant and the winner of 2017 Integrity Icon Awards, Mrs Justina Ogumelen, who displayed discipline, resilience and character against bribery and other forms of corruption in the discharge of her duties over the years.

Ogumelen, who attributed her tenacity to stand against corruption to discipline and prayerfulness, said that her lifestyle attracted enemies, envy and sometimes victimization.

“People will just hate you for no reason, because you stand out to do the right thing. So, for me, it has not really been easy but i keep striving to keep the right flag because doing the right thing is what we all need to make this country work.”

She added that the challenges associated with fighting corruption ranges from undue hatred, staying on one position without promotion orchestrated by your superiors’ and lots more.

Anthony Ani in his submission debunked the perception that civil servants aid politicians in committing corrupt acts, stressing that civil servants are poorly remunerated.

The blame, he said should go to political appointees who mount pressure on civil servants and flout the Civil Service rules.

He lamented the poor condition of service faced by civil servants in the country,  ” Officers are just recruited and there is nothing they give to them. You can imagine an officer on Level 8 without accommodation and roaming about”.

“There is no civil servant, even a director that can rent an accommodation in Wuse, Garki or Maitama. After the government took the policy of selling government houses, no other step has been taken to ensure that new officers coming in will have accommodation.

“If a director in the civil service cannot go home with N400,000 in a month, what kind of thing is that. You know, it is not the amount and when you talk about the perception of civil servants being corrupt, that is a generalization and I am not saying that some civil servants are not corrupt, the point is, when you talk about corruption, let us not tailor it down to only money, when rules are not kept – you have the public service rules and the financial regulation – are they being kept? Even the federal government, do they keep to this rule,” Ani lamented.

On his part, Austin Aigbe, said there are upright individuals in the civil service, however, the political and socio-economic environment is a big challenge to Nigeria’s fight against corruption in the public service.

His words: “If you are elected the President of Nigeria, you own everything and appoint and sack anybody – it is not good for our own interest.

“Looking at the Auditor General Report released recently, if you make an attempt to clean the civil service, you are going to achieve it” Aigbe stated.

The PRIMORG’S Radio Town Hall Against Corruption Series, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

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