The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Anti-Corruption Agency of Nigeria (ACAN) recently concluded a three-day sensitisation workshop on “Achieving Zero-tolerance for Corruption in the Workplace,” with staff educated on the types and potential consequences of corruption as well as appropriate safeguards.
Declaring the workshop open on Day 1, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote commended ACAN and its parent body, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for extending the anti-corruption campaign to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
He said the initiative was very welcome at the NCDMB, which has signified its approval and support of the campaign by launching its own outfit known as NCDMB-Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), which is a distinct unit and now functional.
The Executive Secretary, who was represented by the NCDMB Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Akintunde Adelana, pledged the continued support of the Board for the anti-corruption drive, while urging all staff to make the best of the workshop. Mr. Adelana doubles as Chairman of NCDMB-ACTU.
The ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, expressed appreciation for the principled stance of the NCDMB Management on zero-tolerance for corruption in the workplace and for support for the anti-corruption drive of the Commission. He recalled that earlier in the year, NCDMB-ACTU was fully involved in a similar one-week sensitisation workshop organised by the Commission in Abuja.
Represented by the Provost of ACAN, Professor Olatunde Babawale, the ICPC boss lamented that “Corruption is at the heart of the underdevelopment of the country” and would have to be combated effectively to give a new lease of life to the society.
He noted “The critical role that NCDMB plays in the oil and gas industry,” pointing out the necessity “to sanitise procedures” in that sector. According to him, “when corruption is taken out of the processes the industry is healthier and that would be to the good of the country.”
Sub-themes of the sensitisation workshop were “Tackling Workplace Corruption – The Role of NCDMB-ACTU,” “Eradicating Corruption in the Workplace: A Behavioural Change Approach,” “Overview of National Integrity Laws and the Implications for Organisational Integrity, ”Strategies for Achieving Zero-Tolerance for Corruption in the Workplace.” Resource persons were Professor Olatunde Babawale, Mr. G.N. Bako, and Mr. Richard A. Bello.
In his presentation on “Eradicating Corruption in the Workplace: A Behavioural Change Approach,” Professor Babawale noted that the country is in a dilemma because corruption has persisted despite the multiplicity of laws designed to curb it. According to him a new, complementary approach is required that targets social norms – “unspoken principles and collectively held beliefs.”
He said rather than adore individuals whose sources of wealth are questionable, society should emphasise “norms that care about morals and integrity” and be unequivocal in condemning irresponsible acquisitive behaviour.
On little-known forms of corruption, he referred to gifts from subordinates to superiors, noting that it must not be encouraged. Besides, gifts from persons who have rendered service should also be rejected by public servants because the giver is “only wetting the ground” for the next job or contract in that office.
Professor Babawale enjoined public officials to avoid “favour reciprocation,” noting that it behoves everyone who stands for integrity “to create a cultural context in which corruption is not acceptable.”
All members of Management and staff, except those on leave or assignments outside, participated in the workshop.