BY ANDREW IKEHI
THE need to strengthen the fight against corruption in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) across the three tiers of government took centre stage yesterday at a one-day policy meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The validation/awareness meeting with the theme “Corruption Risk Assessment in MDG-Related MDAs in Focal States,” was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in conjunction with federal anti-corruption agencies. It drew participants from Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Ondo and Delta states.
Declaring the meeting open, the Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay assured participants of the state government’s support in the fight against corruption and allied offences.
Represented at the occasion by the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Dr. Tony Nwaka, Macaulay noted that the fight against corruption in Nigeria is a veritable springboard for the nation to greatness.
He said, “This initiative deserves commendation especially as it is a known fact that the singular greatest impediment to our national growth and development is corruption. I am convinced that tackling the issue of corruption in Nigeria will place the nation comfortably in the pathway of greatness”
The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Chief Kenneth Okpara, in his welcome address, said the state government was irrevocably committed to the fight against corruption, stressing that the Uduaghan administration has since put machineries in place to this effect.
Okpara explained that as part of efforts to address the issue of corruption, the present administration, through the Ministry of Economic Planning is tracking business processes in order to ensure prompt and transparent service delivery.
The tracking process, he said, would eventually result in the timely implementation of projects in the state. “At the time the tracking process started in April this year, the average time it took to process memos was one month, but as of June to date the average time it takes to process memos is two weeks,” he said.
He said Delta was one of the first states in the country to pass its Public Procurement Law (PPL) and Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL), adding that with the assistance of the UNDP, the state has been consolidating its Public Procurement Bureau (PPB).