Corruption: Reward system introduced to promote integrity in public sector

From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Piqued by the high rate of corruption plaguing both the private and public sectors, a Civil Society Organisation, Accountability Lab Nigeria, has introduced what it called Integrity Icon Nigeria (IIN), a reward system to encourage sincerity in Nigeria.
Its Country Director, Odeh Friday Odeh, while selecting the over 1000 entries across the country, added that the initiative would deodorize the public and private space for foreign investors to come in.
Odeh explained that after the selection process, 5 persons would be selected, contacted and awarded on December 9th a day earmarked by the United Nations as the International Day for Anti Corruption.
He said: “We are selecting the people we deem fit as people of integrity in the Nigerian civil service or Nigerian public service sector working for the government.
“We are trying to find people who do things the right way and ensure we have services delivered to citizens in the right way without cutting corners or without corrupt practices.
“What we have done in and around Nigeria is that we engaged a couple of volunteers in the Niger Delta region, North east region, in fact, every part of Nigeria for them to go round and even online to find people who are doing the right thing and to ensure that we have an opened government system.
“So, we got volunteers including staff who would go round to secretariat, ministries and agencies, to find out these people.”
He clarified that, “there is no financial incentives. But we will make them the superstars similar to Nigeria Idol, similar to the Voice and campaigns which have been run by it.
“We will get them private sector to celebrate our own and make them superstars. The plans we have is to sustain the programme and to form a network and what we call the integrity incubation lab. It is more like a network of people of integrity where they can support themselves.
“One of the challenges you and I know is working for the government which is not easy especially when you are doing the right thing because you will be seen as an enemy of progress when you are doing the right thing.
“So, we will put them together as a network to help support them and to encourage them to keep doing what they are doing, to find ways to know their challenges so as to help them provide solution.
“Over the coming years, we going to be building a network of 5 to 10 to 15 till we get to a number we can now begin to say these are the people that should work for government to start changing people’s mindset on how government should function.
“We are looking at five winners. We started in 2017 and we have been able to produce 5 winners every year.
“The target for us is the international day of anti corruption which is December 9th which we will have the integrity icon summit and award where we will celebrate name and fame.”

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