SON enlightens staff against corruption, acceptance of gifts



The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Malam Farouk Salim, has urged staff of the Agency to shun all forms of corruption and acceptance of gift from all its stakeholders.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Paul Iorkyaa, SON Public Relations Officer, South-East/South-South Region, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday.

Salim, represented by Vice-Chairman of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), Mrs Patience Kussiy-Wanza, gave the warning while flagging-off a sensitization programme, themed: “Conflict of Interest, Acceptance of Gift and Other Offences in the Civil Service”, held in Port Harcourt on Oct. 22.

The director-general explained that the essence of the sensitization programme was “to refresh our memory on existing provisions of laws bordering on conflict of interest, acceptance of gifts and other offences in the service”.

“SON believes that this sensitization and similar exercises will equip staff in their interaction with external and internal stakeholders and help them avoid instances likely to bring the organisation to disrepute,” he said.

He explained that the functions of ACTU include conduct of investigation on corruption within the organisation which is subject to the approval of the Director-General.

“Also, ACTU monitors and oversees compliance with certain categories of civil service rules, promote ethics; ensure integrity and compliance with ethic codes, undertake system study and review.

“The ACTU will also organise sensitisation and enlightenment programmes and trainings on ethics, integrity and compliance with ethical codes for staff of the organization,” he added.

In his presentation on the theme of the sensitisation, an Assistant Commissioner at the Independent Corrupt and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Maknahth Osi, emphasised the promotion of transparency, fairness and accountability in the system.

Osi described corruption as abuse of trust for private gain, adding that corruption included bribery, fraud and other related acts justifiable as corruption.

“Corruption, in a nutshell, is money or favour given in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust or something that stands to induce or influence.

“Corruption can come in form of money, favour, giving or acceptance of gifts, through actions and failure to act, donations, serving as a medium, just to mention but a few,” he explained.

He made reference to sections of the ICPC Act in relation to the civil service rules on the macro- and micro-levels of corruptions and the full penalty of those offences.

“Ignorance is not an excuse before the law; therefore, it is wise to stay away from corrupt practices,” he said.

Osi assured that the ICPC is ready to strengthen collaboration with SON to help fight and eliminate corruption completely within the Agency.

Earlier, Regional Coordinator of SON South-South, Mr. Nwabara Charles, represented by Rivers/Bayelsa Coordinator of SON, Mr Ayuba Sam, thanked the director-general of the Agency for such sensitisation and training; while urging participants to pay keen attention. (NAN)