We Will Tackle Corruption In The Electricity Sector – ICPC Chairman

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has promised to tackle corruption-related matters arising from estimated billings, illegal selling of meters, and other related offences in the electricity sector.

The Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, while speaking at a consultation meeting of business membership organisations and electricity regulatory bodies organised by the Association of Public Policy Analysis (APPA-Nigeria), in Abuja, recently, noted that the incessant complaints about high billings of electricity tariff by power regulators were becoming rife.

Owasanoye, who was represented by Mallam Hassan Salihu, an Assistant Commissioner in the Commission, called on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), and electricity regulatory bodies to join hands in the prevention of electricity-related corruption in Nigeria.

The ICPC Chairman revealed that the Commission articulated the National Ethics and Integrity Policy which is geared towards instilling lost values as a norm in the lives of citizens in the country.

The seven core values of the Policy include Human Dignity, Voice and Participation, Patriotism, Personal Responsibility, Integrity, National Unity, and Professionalism.

He added that the Commission was working to ensure accountability across the public and private sectors through the implementation of these core values, explaining that it would enable people working in the sectors to shun all forms of corruption.

Professor Owasanoye further stated that the Commission was empowered by its enabling law to carry out system studies and reviews in government agencies and departments to mitigate the occurrence of corrupt activities in such organizations.

According to him, the ICPC was working to ensure accountability across the public and private sectors through the implementation of these core values, explaining that it would enable people working in the sectors to shun corruption.

Professor Owasanoye further stated that the Commission was empowered by the law to do system studies and reviews in government agencies and departments to mitigate the occurrence of corrupt activities in such organizations.


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Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Umaru Radda, who was represented by Mrs. Olabanjo Fowler, an Assistant Director, Partnership and Coordination, said that it was the responsibility of SMEDAN to formulate and implement policies that would ensure the ease of doing business to make MSMEs competitive in the global market.

Radda also stated that the multiplier effects of high electricity tariffs, poor transmission distribution, and supply of electricity on businesses were in no doubt grievous, adding that, it will increase MSMEs production costs and it would reduce their competitiveness in the global market.

He, therefore, called on other relevant agencies to partner in identifying the possible areas of intervention as it relates to electricity consumption protection in Nigeria.

In his paper titled “Mobilizing Stakeholders for Protection of SME Electricity Consumers Against unfair Business Practices through Enforcement of Electricity Consumers Protection Licensee Performance Standards for Job Creation and Economic Growth” the National President, Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA-Nigeria), Comrade Princewill Okorie, said that micro, small and medium enterprises operators have continued to complain over abuse of their rights as consumers of electricity.

He further stated that the issues had affected SME operators who need electricity to carry out their production and services by hindering operations and increasing their cost of production as they resort to using generators at additional cost as well as paying unjustified exorbitant bills.

Okorie said that the unfair business practices against consumers are not abating while the expected support given to SMEs by funders is minimal.

Osinbajo Inaugurates ICPC Boss, Others To Recover N5trn AMCON Debt

Yemi Osinbajo                                                                                                                     Bolaji Owasanoye

 

 

The Federal Government says it has taken another determined step in its bid to recover over N5 trillion outstanding debts owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

This comes as the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, formally inaugurated an inter-agency committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.

“One of the Terms of Reference is for the Committee to prepare a report, giving us a sense of what the timelines would be,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande.

At the inauguration ceremony which held on Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Vice President tasked members of the committee to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default on their payment obligations.

About 67 per cent of the outstanding N5tn debt is said to be owed by just 20 individuals and entities.

Professor Osinbajo expressed confidence in the expertise of the team, chaired by the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, to carry out the task ahead.

Following the challenges encountered from the debt-recovery processes and the very limited results so far, he asked the committee to consider other options, including taking enforcement measures in actually recovering the debts.

“I congratulate you on the very onerous task that has been set, to render this service.

“I know that, given the kind of individuals here, you will definitely turn this whole narrative around. So, I wish you all very well,” said the Vice President.

In his remarks, Professor Owasanoye thanked Professor Osinbajo for the confidence reposed in the team, stating that members would do their best to recover most of the debts.

Members of the committee include heads and representatives of AMCON, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

Others are drawn from the ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The team, among other related tasks, is expected to review the status of debts owed to AMCON and deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debts.

It is also asked to prepare a report which will include a debt recovery work plan with specific timelines for completion.

Buhari Swears In Bolaji Owasanoye As ICPC Chairman

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Professor Bolaji Owasanoye as the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The President also inaugurated eight new members into the commission while the oaths of office were taken.

The members are Delta, Enugu, Anambra and Lagos.

Others are from Katsina, Jigawa, Niger and Nasarawa including a youth representative who is 27 years old.

The swearing-in ceremony was held on Monday at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

President Buhari charged the ICPC leadership to come up with preventive policies and strategies that will help identify MDA’s prone to corruption.

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Prof Owasanoye is the 4th substantive head of the anti-graft agency since its inception in 1999.

The Senate confirmed the President’s nomination of the chairman and members in October of 2018.

Senate Confirms Bolaji Owasanoye As ICPC Chairman

Senate Confirms Bolaji Owasanoye As ICPC Chairman
A file photo of the Senate during plenary at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on December 18, 2018. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate has confirmed Professor Bolaji Owasanoye as Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The lawmakers took the decision during Thursday’s plenary at the National Assembly in Abuja.

They confirmed Professor Owasanoye after considering the report of the Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the screening of nominees for confirmation as chairman and members of the ICPC.

The report was presented to the upper chamber by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, while Senator Andy Uba seconded that lawmakers consider the report.

Earlier, Senator Bassey Akpan faulted the selection process of members of the commission, saying the South-South and South-East were left out.

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In his response, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said “the highest level” was consulted during the selection process and asked the lawmakers not to delay the appointment of the nominees whom he noted would make the ICPC better.

The Senate also confirmed eight others as members of the anti-graft agency.

They are Dr Grace Chinda, Okolo Titus, Obiora Igwedebia, Mrs Olubukola Balogun, Justice Adams Bello, Hannatu Muhammed, Abdullahi Saidu, and Yahaya Dauda.

Following the confirmation of the appointees, Senate President Bukola Saraki congratulated the chairman and the members.

He also asked them to ensure they perform their duty which out bias towards achieving the core objectives of the fight against corruption in the country.

Senator Saraki said, “I would like to congratulate the chairman and members. This is a very important commission in governance and in our fight against corruption.”

“I wish them a successful tenure and hope they carry out the job before them in a transparent and professional manner devoid of politics.”

Presidential Committee On Corruption Presents Report      

Corruption, Itse sagayOne year after its inauguration, the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, has come out with its recommendations.

In its report from August 2015 to July 2016, the Executive Secretary, Bolaji Owasanoye, highlighted areas of concentration.

Amongst are the things that the committee maps out as sentencing guidelines for high profile cases where huge monies are trapped.

He decried the amount of monies that the Nigerian government has lost to such cases and its effect on the economy.

“If we do simple arithmetic of all those high profile cases, just add the sums and see how much you will come up with, it will be far above two trillion and because the state has not recovered the money, we will see the effect on the economy,” he said.

The chairman of the committee, Professor Itse Sagay, also added that Nigeria needs an upright judiciary without which the nation’s democracy would collapse.

The sudden raid of the houses of some judges by the DSS and the subsequent arrest of the judicial officers drew a plethora of reactions recently.

But Professor Sagay described the anti-corruption campaign of the President as right, while describing the criticism from Nigerians as totally wrong and shocking.

“We need the judiciary but we need an upright judiciary. Without that, one arm of government will collapse and democracy will collapse.

“Let us think of the implication of what is going on. If we don’t put the judiciary right or have a judiciary in which we have confidence, with integrity and honour, with moral authority, then we have no government and we have no democracy,” he said.

Buhari Sets Up Committee On War Against Corruption

Muhammadu Buhari on corruptionPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, a prominent professor of law and civil rights activist.

The Committee is to advise the present administration on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

It is also expected to develop comprehensive interventions for achieving recommended reforms.

The members are Professor Femi Odekunle, a Professor of Criminology, Ahmadu Bello University, Dr. Benedicta Daudu, an Associate Professor of International Law, University of Jos, Professor E. Alemika, a Professor of Sociology, University of Jos and Professor Sadiq Radda, a Professor of Criminology, Bayero University, Kano.

Others are Hadiza Bala Usman, a Civil Society Activist and Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, who is also the Executive Secretary of the Committee.

‘Kill Corruption’

According to a statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, an Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Reform Fund has been established by three international development partners namely the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Open Society Foundation in support of the Nigerian Government’s efforts.

The $5 million fund is to assist implementation of key components of the Action Plan and the work of the Presidential Advisory Committee.

The fund will be managed by Trust Africa, an international development Civil Society Organisation with programme presence in more than 25 African countries.

President Buhari had, during his campaign, stressed the need to ‘kill corruption’ in public sector and recover looted funds and the committee has been set up as part of efforts to ensure the actualisation of the promise.

“If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria,” he said.