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COVID-19 not an opportunity to loot, ICPC tells MDAs, public officers

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COVID-19 not an opportunity to loot, ICPC tells MDAs, public officers

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has warned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), involved in the management of Coronavirus disease, against abuse of procurement process.

The commission warned public officers against inflation and padding of cost of items being procured during this period, stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic should not be exploited for personal gains in any sector of the economy.

The statement read: “As the nation reels from the effect of COVID-19, ICPC wishes to caution against an increase in risky behaviour hinged on critical desire to respond to COVID-19.

“From past experience, national emergencies, and pandemics instigate the need for proactive measures driven by local or national exigency such as the times that we are in. However, bearing in mind that the stark reality of the inadequacy and the vulnerability of our health system cannot be separated from the negative effects and impact of persistent corruption in past years of the locusts, we caution against the exigency of the times resulting in further undermining the credibility and stability of Nigeria’s health system including the well being of those who operate therein and the citizens to be catered for.

“Emergency response is not immune to corruption risks. As the threat to national livelihood increases, so do the vulnerabilities to dishonesty. Corrupt public and private sector individuals will again test the nation’s anti-corruption architecture and commitment to integrity.

“It has happened before and may happen again. We have seen corruption in past responses to managing the needs of internally displaced persons, treatment of persons affected by natural disasters or acts of God and delivery of government palliatives for the poorest of the poor.

“Others are the implementation of policies to address critical economic vulnerabilities such as assistance to SME; poverty alleviation programmes; improvement in education and promotion of agriculture, among others.”

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