The director-general of the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) Jos, Prof. Linus Asuquo has called for an all-inclusive effort in the fight against corruption.
He made the clarion call during the inauguration of a seven-man committee of the anti-corruption and transparency unit at the NMDC auditorium, Jos.
While welcoming the chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasonye who was represented by the resident anti-corruption commissioner, ICPC, Benue office, Mr. Menge Tiku, Asuquo recounted the adverse effect of corruption on the Nigerian economy since independence.
According to him, from 1963 when Nigeria got her Independence, the fight against corruption has been conspicuous in the blueprints of successive administrations
He recalled that the thwarting of democratic governments of the first and second republics was not unconnected to corruption.
Asuquo pointed out that despite humongous financial resources injected by both successive military and democratic governments to fight corruption, no lasting therapy has been administered to cure the plague.
The director-general thanked the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo for establishing the ICPC and charging it to prohibit and prescribe punishments for corrupt practices and other related offences in the ICPC ACT of 2000.
Asuquo applauded the Muhammadu Buhari administration for its relentlessness in reducing the wastage of public funds through the establishment of the efficiency unit, Presidential Continuous Audit (PICA), Treasury Single Account (TSA), Cash Management Office (CMO) etc. These and other measures, he said, are frantic efforts to curb and, possibly, eradicate corruption and block leakages that abet corruption in the public sphere.
The NMDC boss said for any meaningful development to take place in any country, all hands must be on deck to defeat the “parasitic monster” called corruption.
Asuquo thanked the government and ICPC management for domesticating the commission in MDAs through the establishment of anti-corruption and transparency units (ACTU) and challenged the ACTU committee members to discharge their duties with diligence, probity and passion.
The NMDC helmsman assured the chairman, ICPC, that it will do its best as a research and development centre charged with the responsibility of adding value to all minerals and metals in Nigeria; thus, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that corruption has no hiding place.
In his response, Owasonye thanked the director-general for his passion in the fight against corruption and the DG for providing a conducive office and logistics for ACTU committee members in NMDC.
Although he conceded that the fight against corruption is age-long, the ICPC boss said it can only be won if it begins from families, up to public institutions.
While administering the oath of office to the seven-man committee, Owasonye swore in Mr. Bulus Ewa as the chairman and Mr. Bala Bosan as secretary, before reminding them of the efficacy of taking oath for public office.
In a statement by the NMDC head of press and public relations, Sunny Eweama, the ICPC boss reminded them of the need to synergise with the Zonal office for updated information to aid them to discharge their duties efficiently.
The team leader reiterated the need for the committee members to thoroughly investigate and always report facts beyond a reasonable doubt.