Most corrupt civil servants in Nigeria claimed not to be aware that certain procedural practices in the course of their work constitute corruption, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has disclosed
She said this in Abuja, while making a contribution during a stakeholders’ meeting on System Study and Review of Personnel Cost of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), put together by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
According to Ms Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian state was working hard to ensure a reduction in government expenditure in order to release more money for infrastructural development.
Represented by her Permanent Secretary, Mr. Danladi Kifesi, the minister noted that ignorance of the right procedures in governance would never be a sound excuse. Furthermore, the civil servants need to get acquainted with the correct workings of government so as not to breach the existing laws, she added.
The ICPC chairman, Ekpo Nta, stated earlier, said the outcome of an ICPC 2011 System Study and Review identified a “poor or deliberate misunderstanding of the provisions of extant rules guiding the management of the personnel costs.”
He said based on the Review, the Commission issued a circular in December 2012 requesting all MDAs to return all balances in their personnel votes to government. Mr Nta added that the Commission was verifying levels of compliance, and that infractions would be addressed according to exiting laws. While stating that the functions of ICPC did not conflict with that of the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr Nta added that the Commission was currently studying the recommendations of the annual report of the Auditor-General for investigation of criminal breaches for necessary action.