•Partnership’ll boost business climate — Osinbajo
By Yinka Kolawole
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is collaborating with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to investigate complaints regarding activities and practices in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to smoking out and prosecuting corrupt officials.
This was one of the highlights of the meeting of PEBEC presided over by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo noted at the meeting that the collaboration between PEBEC and ICPC is an important step in achieving the federal government’s reform agenda, especially regarding MDAs regulating business environment, thereby ensuring a more conducive environment for businesses in the country.
He stated: “I think that if this collaboration is robust enough, we will be able to kill two birds with one stone; first is improving our Ease of Doing Business, and secondly boost our anti-corruption ranking internationally, because some of the ranking is a perception index. Because people are simply asked, what is your perception about corruption in Nigeria?
“So, if we work on these issues, we can really do a lot in terms of improving the image of the country, not just in the Ease of Doing Business rankings, but also in terms of perception of corruption.”
Speaking specifically on the partnership, Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business and PEBEC Secretary, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, said complaints from Nigerians regarding activities and practices in MDAs bordering on suspected corruption and deliberate stalling of reform efforts would be referred from the anti-corruption portal of PEBEC to ICPC for investigation and prosecution.
She noted that some of the complaints and feedback received on the portal bordered on corrupt practices from public officials and civil servants, which necessitated the collaboration with ICPC in resolving these complaints.
According to Oduwole, “Between November 2018 and January 2019, a total of 1,966 complaints were received on the portal, of which 1,892 were resolved, representing 96.2 per cent success rate.”
Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, told the Council that the collaboration will help in reforming the public service system, adding that ICPC would adopt a multi-pronged approach in tackling the issues. He said: “When we started reviewing samples of complaints, we jointly agreed that the first line of action, which we have started, is to have the particular agencies, first of all, take administrative action. Once there is a signal that something will happen, we believe that there will be some level of restraint from the particular agency.”