From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Ministry for Local Government has partnered the Independence Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to promote transparency and fiscal responsibility in the state’s local government administration.
The state’s Commissioner for Local Government, Malam Ja’afaru Sani, made this known
during the opening of a two-day workshop on anti-corruption drive,organised by the ministry in collaboration with ICPC in Kaduna.
The Commissioner explained that the workshop was organised as part of efforts to instill transparency and accountability in local government administration and the state public service in general.
According to him, the workshop was timely in view of the emphasis placed on rural development by the federal, state and local governments.
“This is also very critical in the implementation of the Public Service Revitalisation and Renewal Programme by the state government.
“It has, therefore, become imperative for all and sundry to cooperate with relevant agencies and officials in the efforts to entrench probity and accountability in the management of public funds at the LGA level.
“This is because the menace of corruption undermines the capacity of government to deliver satisfactory services.”
Sani noted that with dwindling revenues coming to local governments from federation account, there was the need for local government officials to be exposed to best practices.
“The need to be exposed to best practices on effective management of finances, prudence in expenditure as well as transparency and accountability in governance at the grassroots level,” he added.
On his part, ICPC Executive Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said that the workshop was designed to remind local government officials that corruption thrives in the absence of transparency and fiscal responsibility.
“ICPC believe that the fight against corruption is about promoting good governance and good governance entails social inclusion, transparency and accountability in the provision of basic social services.
“We are here to sensitize and remind you of your responsibility to be prudent, transparent and accountable to the people you are elected to serve,” he said.
Owasanoye, who was represented by the Director Education, ICPC Headquarters Abuja, Mohammed Baba, urged local government chairmen to embrace citizens participation in budget formulation and execution.
He also advised the local government administrators to let the people decide what project they need and where to locate such project to encourage the people to take ownership for sustainability.
According to him, the tenet of transparency and accountability in governance requires social inclusive administration and participatory approach in service delivery.
Also speaking, ICPC Commissioner in the state, Shehu Yahaya, urged the local government officials to design and implement preventive measures against corruption and carry out public enlightenment to foster public support.
In a paper entitled, “Anti-Corruption Legislation in Nigeria”, Yahaya said that ICPC would use the provisions of the ICPC Act to prosecute any government official involved in corrupt practices.
He advised the local government officials to acquaint themselves with the provisions of all anti-corruption laws, pointing out that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.