The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has taken steps to fashion out a National Policy on Ethics and Integrity for Nigeria.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has organized a virtual meeting of stakeholders drawn from all sectors of the Nigerian economy to unveil the framework for the new policy which is being jointly pursued with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
Owasanoye said the draft policy, which was developed many years ago but was stalled, must be revived given the important role of ethics and integrity in the fight against corruption and nation development.
Owasanoye said: “This event is not a discussion about what led to the collapse of ethical values. It is not a discussion on what activities and sanctions will be applied for violations of ethical standards. It is not about what should be done to mobilize citizens.
“Today’s conversation is about what pillars government should base its National Ethics and Integrity Policy upon. Although we are not entirely in the dark as you will find out today that the Constitution and some laws actually provide a framework that could have made today’s conversation unnecessary.”
In his presentation, the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, said that a national policy on ethics and integrity was long overdue given the numerous challenges facing the country.
He said: “A National Policy on Ethics and Integrity is long overdue considering the fact that the issues we are dealing with – Ethics, Values, and Integrity are just as old as man. But much more, they are at the heart of the destinies of individuals, communities, organizations, and nations.
“It is true Nigeria like many other countries in the world has witnessed a disturbing slide in our ethical conduct and in upholding the cherished values that define us as people.
“As we continue to cross-fertilize ideas on how best to fine-tune and improve on the draft National Policy on Ethics and Integrity, a critical component that deserves our attention is how contents of this policy can be brought to the doorsteps of every Nigerian in the most pedestrian manner that inspires them to not only own it but to submit to its principles and comply with its provisions in the best interest of all our peoples and the development of our dear country.”