Code of Conduct Bureau has said there is need to monitor COVID-19 Palliatives Disbursement and other Social Intervention Programmes
The Chairman of Nigeria’s first anti corruption agency, the Code of Conduct Bureau Prof. Mohammed Isah has emphasized the reasons behind the CCB’s recent nationwide exercise to monitor the Federal and States government distribution and management of the social interventions palliatives in response to the COVID -19 pandemic.
According to Prof. Mohammed, the move is a very supportive one to help the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to enshrine transparency and accountability in the discharge of government’s responsibilities to the citizens. ”We are responding to the call to help in the monitoring of the processes in the distribution of the COVID -19 palliatives and other Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs) which includes the school feeding initiative, the distribution of food items, the conditional cash support to the vulnerable at all levels from the Federal Government to the State and Local Government Areas as well as donations by the private sector”.
As part of its mandate of tackling corruption, the Bureau in a demonstration of its commitment to its statutory responsibilities during the lockdown in a measure of renewed tenacity to entrench obedience to the Code of Conduct for public office holders sent out its independent monitoring team to ensure that the palliatives gets to the targeted population and that due process is followed for purposes of accountability. The soft spoken lawyer and Chairman of the Bureau Prof. Mohammed said the CCB set up special monitoring teams headed by the Federal Commissioners representing each of the six geo-political zones and its State offices across the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. ’’We have a responsibility to ensure confidence in government system and projects, the monitoring of this social intervention scheme is one of the ways we hold those who help to implement government activities accountable to all and that is why the entire exercise is spread across the whole nation” he emphasized
On why there was so much synergy between the Code of Conduct Bureau and its involvement of the traditional rulers in the exercise, the CCB Chairman observed that the traditional institution remains a critical stakeholder as the custodian of the immediate people within their domain, ”We are a people with values for our culture and we have a lot of respect for the traditional rulers who help to uphold our societal ways of life. Therefore, we believe if we have the buy-in and the support of these traditional rulers it becomes easier to make people accountable to the society in which they live” he added.
The anti corruption watchdog helmsman revealed some of the positives recorded by the CCB nationwide Monitoring Team. ”In the course of our monitoring exercises, it became more obvious to our teams that we can’t’ sit in the comfort of Abuja to tackle corruption and help the government win the war against corruption. We were able to focus on the need to prevent anyone from abusing or subverting the process, checkmate possible inflation of the social register of the direct beneficiaries as well as averting discrimination of any sort whether on religious, ethnic, social or political grounds”. At the end, our experiences are worth the while for subsequent future engagements of this nature.
The Chairman reinstated the relentless efforts and determination of the CCB to help instil public confidence in government’s services, projects and programmes. Prof. Mohammed solicited the support of all Nigerians in helping to make accountability in the public sector a success. He advised Nigerian’s to be watchful and help report defaulting officials while assuring that those found culpable will not be spared in facing the consequences of their actions.