The two- day special workshop on anti-corruption organised by the Abia State government for all finance and accounting officers in the state has ended in Umuahia with a call on them to join government in the fight to stem corruption in public and private sectors.
Speaking at the event which had its theme as “Governance and Corruption”, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said all hands must be on deck to fight corruption headlong.
According to him, the workshop will deepen the effort of his government in fighting corruption as well as provide a forum for accounting officers to be exposed to global best practices in financial management, processes, procedures and relevant laws guiding public finance and procurement.
Dr. Ikpeazu noted that the forum among other things will make financial administrators to see themselves as partners in the efforts to stamp out corruption in public institutions
“It is only through an interaction like this that the operators in the various sub national government and the watch dog in terms of the fight against corruption, chief among which is the EFCC that we will begin to understand each other very well”, he said.
In a keynote address, the Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawasaid that the fight against corruption should not be left for the Federal government alone.
The EFCC boss, represented by the Commission’s Director of Operations, Abdukareem Chukkol expressed the readiness of EFCC to assist State governments to improve transparency and accountability in governance and lauded Governor Ikpeazu for organizing the workshop which he described as key in driving good governance.
Earlier in his speech, the facilitator of the workshop and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Anthony Agbazuere disclosed that the workshop was aimed at inculcating in the financial managers of the State the global accounting standard and prudent management of resources.
While maintaining that the State believes in transparency and accountability, he expressed optimism that the workshop would leave participants better informed and commended the Chairman of the EFCC for believing in sensitizing Nigerians towards stamping out corruption in the polity.
The workshop which had in attendance, members of the State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries, Local Government Chairmen, management staff in finance and supply Departments of government also saw many resource persons delivered lectures on corruption as well as proffered solution to the menace.
In a communique at the end of the workshop, participants noted that corruption undermines government business, economic activities, peoples’ wellbeing and poses grave obstacles to social and economic development and urged everyone to adopt a paradigm shift from the mantra of “my story must change” to “change begins with me”.