THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it will sustain the new National Ethics and Integrity Policy, which is geared towards changing many Nigerians’ mindsets and preventing them from engaging in corruption.

The commission launched the new policy to reduce corruption in public and private spheres in Nigeria.

ICPC spokesperson Azuka Ogugua made this known during a radio programme, ‘Public Conscience,’ produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ogugua, while reassuring that the sustainability of the policy was of paramount interest to the commission, disclosed that plans were on the ground to infuse the policy into contract agreements with multinationals, oil and gas, taxation and other sectors.

She stressed that one of the major challenges Nigeria had with corruption was that some of the agreements entered with international partners were porous and could give room for corruption.

“So, we want to incorporate this policy into business agreements, work ethics and everything that people sign into while taking their oath of office. The policies will not just be preached like a sermon or implemented on its own but will be incorporated into our day-to-day lives, a major sustainability plan.

“There will be monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the policy, sending out annual reports and the four-year review. When we finish doing all these, we will review and see how far we have gone in four years.

“The work plan template we are working on has measurement criteria for the leaders to know if they are meeting up with the policy in their workplace. We have to keep reminding leaders that they approved this policy and they have to live by it,” Ogugua said.

She added that the commission was working with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Office of the Secretary-General of the Federal, Public Complaints Commission, Human Rights Commission, Consumer Protection Commission, National Assembly, states and local governments, among others.

Similarly, the head of public education and national ethics unit, Okor Odey, stated that the commission’s new National Ethics and Integrity Policy was different from other similar policies that failed in the past because it went beyond slogans and politics.

Odey also maintained that the policy had a sustainability structure to ensure that it would go beyond now.

“if the citizenry buys into the new policy, we will have an attitudinal change. It will not be something that stops with any government. It will continue from one government to another, and then integrity, work ethics, values, proper values become a way of life for every citizen of this country.

“The national values and ethics policy have seven core values and even these seven core values will be taught to people, sold to people and it will become part of our everyday existence,” Odey said.

On his part, the country director of Accountability Lab Nigeria Friday Odeh commended PRIMORG and ICPC in promoting integrity through their programmes.

Odeh, who revealed massive distrust between political leaders and the masses, stressed that top politicians and political leaders should lead Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

“Nigerians have lost trust in the government.  Every Nigerian would tell you to go back to the government or go back to the leaders to tell them to lead us right.

“I figured out that the second stanza of the national anthem talks about helping our youth the truth to know. So, this is a responsibility of the government, and we need the top-down approach to say that if we say change begins with me, show us that change begins with me.”

Odeh called on all Nigerians to join the campaign to build trust and integrity in the society. “I want to call out to all.
Nigerians to join the campaign to build trust as active citizens, as a responsible leader and even if you work in an accountable institution, please come out and let’s do this together,” he pleaded.

Originally published by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting