A two-day special workshop on anti-corruption organised by the Abia State government for all its finance and accounting officers in the state has ended in Umuahia at the weekend, with a call on the state’s financial managers to join the state government to holistically fight cankerworm in both public and private sectors of the economy headlong.
In his speech at the event which had its theme as “Governance and Corruption”, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, emphasised the need for all hands to be on deck in the war against corruption.
The governor explained that the workshop will deepen the effort of his government in fighting corruption as well as provide a forum for accounting officers to be exposed to global best practices in financial management, processes, procedures and relevant laws guiding public finance and procurement.
The Abia chief executive observed that the forum will among other things make financial administrators to see themselves as partners in the efforts to stamp out corruption in public institutions.
He declared, “It is only through an interaction like this that the operators in the various sub national government and the watch dog can win the war in terms of the fight against corruption, chief among which is the EFCC that we will begin to understand each other very well”.
The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa had earlier maintained that the fight against corruption should not be left for the Federal government alone; adding that all men of goodwill must joins hands to fight the cankerworm.
He was represented by the Director of Operations, Abdukareem Chukkol. He expressed the readiness of anti graft commission to assist the state governments to improve transparency and accountability in governance and lauded Governor Ikpeazu for organizing the workshop which he described as key in driving good governance.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor and facilitator of the workshop, Prof. Anthony Agbazuere, disclosed that the workshop was organised to inculcate in the financial system of the state the global accounting standard and prudent management of the scarce resources.
He emphasised that the state believed in transparency and accountability, even as he expressed optimism that the workshop would leave participants better informed and transparent.
The workshop which had in attendance, members of the State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries, Local Government Chairmen, management staff in finance and supply Departments of government also saw many resource persons delivering lectures and proffering solutions to the menace.
In a communiqué at the end of the workshop, participants described corruption as a cankerworm that undermines government’s business as well as economic activities, pointing out that it also hinders peoples’ wellbeing in addition to posing grave obstacles to social and economic development of a nation.
They participants urged Nigerians to adopt a paradigm shift from the mantra of “my story must change” to “change begins with me”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.