Prof. Isah Mohammed, Chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau

How we monitored disbursement of government’s palliatives across Nigeria, by CCB Chairman

*Prof. Isah Mohammed reveals CCB sent special independent monitoring teams to ensure social palliatives reach the targeted population

*Acknowledges the critical role of traditional rulers in anti-corruption crusade

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Prof. Isah Mohammed, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Nigeria’s first anti-corruption agency, has disclosed reasons behind the CCB’s recent nationwide exercise to monitor the Federal and States governments’ distribution and management of the social intervention palliatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Mohammed said the move was a very supportive one to help the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to enshrine transparency and accountability in the discharge of government’s responsibilities to the citizens.

The CCB Chairman stated: “We are responding to the call to help in monitoring the processes in the distribution of the COVID -19 palliatives and other Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs).

“These include the school feeding initiative, distribution of food items, conditional cash support to the vulnerable at all levels from the Federal Government to the State and Local Government Areas as well as donations by the private sector.”

Mohammed stressed that as part of its mandate to tackle corruption, the Bureau in demonstration of its commitment to statutory responsibilities during the lockdown renewed tenacity to entrench obedience to the Code of Conduct for public office holders.

He said the CCB sent independent monitoring teams to ensure that the palliatives get to the targeted population, and that due process is followed for purposes of accountability.

The Chairman, who is a lawyer, added that the CCB set up special monitoring teams headed by the Federal Commissioners representing each of the six geo-political zones and state offices across the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja, FCT.

Mohammed said: “We have a responsibility to ensure confidence in government system and projects.

“The monitoring of this social intervention scheme is one of the ways we hold those who help to implement government activities accountable to all.

“That is why the entire exercise is spread across the whole nation.”

On the synergy between the Code of Conduct Bureau and the traditional rulers in the exercise, the CCB Chairman observed that the traditional institution remains a critical stakeholder as the custodian of the immediate people within their domain.

“We are a people with values for our culture, and we have a lot of respect for the traditional rulers, who help to uphold our societal ways of life.

“Therefore, we believe if we have the buy-in and support of these traditional rulers, it becomes easier to make people accountable to the society in which they live,” he emphasised.

Of the Bureau’s several experiences during CCB nationwide Monitoring Team, he stated: “In the course of our monitoring exercises, it became more obvious to our teams that we couldn’t sit in the comfort of Abuja to tackle corruption and help the government to win the war against corruption.

“We were able to focus on the need to prevent anyone from abusing or subverting the process, checkmate possible inflation of the social register of the direct beneficiaries as well as avert discrimination of any sort whether on religious, ethnic, social or political grounds.”

According to the CCB Chief, in the end, their experiences are worthwhile for subsequent future engagements of this nature.

The Chairman restated the Bureau’s relentless efforts and determination to help instill public confidence in government’s services, projects and programmes.

Mohammed solicited the support of all Nigerians in helping to make accountability in the public sector a success.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to be watchful and help to report defaulting officials to the body.

Those found culpable will not be spared in facing the consequences of their actions, he assured.

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