Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has called on Labour officers across the nation to always adopt transparent and anti-corruption practices in the discharge of their duties.
Ngige spoke in Enugu, as he declared open the Zonal Enlightenment and Awareness Creation Workshop on Anti-Corruption, for Labour officers in Anambra and Enugu states, in the South-East geopolitical zone.
Represented by the Anambra State Labour Controller, Stephen Agada, the Minister stated that the transparency and honesty of civil servants in the conduct of government business would serve to bolster the efforts of government in curbing corruption.
The Minister noted that corrupt practices went beyond financial crimes to include other forms of malpractices in the conduct of government duties – “acts of omission, negligence and commission along the lines of delivery of daily schedule of duties.
“Even our attitude to work, manner of interaction with stakeholders, both internal and external, all affect the ease of doing business and contribute directly or indirectly to corrupt practices.”
Ngige noted that curbing corruption in government business would benefit not only the government, but also the officers, as they would gain in self-esteem and integrity.
The Minister stated that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) established Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) in all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) “as one of the implementation mechanisms for its mandate on prohibition and prevention of corruption, especially in the public service.”
He pointed out that the war against corruption is one of the operational mantras of this government, and is aimed at reducing the negative effect of corruption on national development processes.
Ngige therefore charged the Labour officers to key into the global best practice of transparent and anti-corruption practices in service delivery, and by doing so lift the image of the nation among her peers .
The Minister disclosed that the workshop had been successfully held in the Ministry’s headquarters, and had been moved to the geo-political zones.
Permanent Secretary, Labour and Employment, Yerima Peter Tarfa, while welcoming the participants, stated that the Workshop was to create awareness among Labour officers at the various state offices in the South-East Zone, on the dangers of corrupt practices, and the impact on delivery of duties at state level.
Tarfa, who was represented by the Enugu State Labour Controller, Chuka Umunna, disclosed that the South-East Zonal Workshop was the first in a series scheduled to hold in all the geo-political zones of the country.