The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission ( ICPC) has inaugurated the 4th committee members of the National Open University of Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units (NOUN-ACTU) which was held at university headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.
The commission’s Head, Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Mr. Olayinka Aiyegbayo, who represented the ICPC chairman, said during the event held on Thursday, November 3, 2022, that creation of ACTU in MDAs was initiated by ICPC in collaboration with the office of the Head of Civil Service of the federation (OHCSF) and approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2001 to serve as an in-house check mechanism against corrupt and unethical practices.
He said over the years , the commission has taken keen interest in evaluating and correcting corrupt practices in educational institutions as the sector is key to national development.
Olayinka added that NOUN as a citadel of learning with a vision of being the ‘’foremost university providing highly accessible and enhanced quality education…’’, has a duty to ensure that its workforce shun corrupt practices and discharge their duties diligently, responsibly and accountably.
‘’From our record the institute had an ACTU which was duly inaugurated in 2017. However, that unit was ineffective as it did not undertake any activity as entrusted by the standing order for the operations of ACTU in MDAs for the duration of its tenure .
“I hope that this inauguration, the unit would be empowered to deliver on its mandate which include periodic sensitization of staff on and against corruption; examination of systems process and procedures that are prone to corruption and proffering solutions; developing and reviewing code of ethics for staff and ensuring compliance with same.
“Monitoring budget implementation of the institute ; coordinating the deployment of the ethics and integrity compliance scorecard and undertaking preliminary investigations into complaints/reports received amongst others.’’
He empathised that the ACTU is not envisioned as a parallel authority to the management, rather it is expected to operate under the direct oversight of the Vice-Chancellor, so as to complement management’s effort in promoting transparency and accountability within the institution.
Olayinka also implored management to see the unit in this light and to support it by providing a conducive environment to function, provide funds and office accommodation as well as incorporate the unit members in various standing committees as observer as stipulated in the extant circular of government Ref No: OHCSF/SPSO/CSTD/314/T2/61 dated October, 2016.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Uduma O. Uduma, who represented the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Olufemi Peters, assured ICPC that management of the university will always give its unflinching support to NOUN-ACTU by approving the continuity of its mandate which starts with inauguration of the newly appointed NOUN-committee members.
‘’I want to say that NOUN is already ICPC-certified and can stand tall among the community universities,” expressing hope for a continuous robust relationship between the university and the commission.
The Head, NOUN-ACTU committee, Mrs. Nzenwa Doris, said the task assigned to the committee will be done uncompromisingly with a spirit of patriotism and utmost professionalism in order to achieve a near zero corruption and almost 100% transparency within the NOUN community.
She urged everyone to be supportive so that a corruption-free and highly changed transparent NOUN will be achieved because ACTU cannot do it all alone.
Doris appreciated the Vice-Chancellor for his support to the committee and other principal officers, who in spite of other choices, appointed them as the new NOUN-ACTU committee members.
She reminded NOUN-ACTU desk officers at the study centres who have pledged their support to work hard so that their objectives will be achieved by the end of their tenure.
Barrister Alice Bolarinwa sworn-in the newly appointed NOUN ACTU members and reminded them that the expiry of their tenure will be in three years which can be extended to six years, if they perform excellently well.