By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Professor Isah Mohammed, has decried the poor level of compliance of public office holders to assets declaration.
Mohammed attributed the poor compliance to the fear of the unknown.
This is coming as the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has said that military personnel holding positions of responsibility must be accountable.
Isah, who spoke at a Two-day workshop on “Strict Compliance with Provisions of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and Officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” that was held at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, said: “It is the strong belief of the bureau that when top public functionaries of government are well aware and abide by these codes of conduct for public officers, the need for the application of punitive measures would be minimised to the lowest ebb if not eliminated, thereby reducing the resources expended on prosecution of cases.”
The CCB boss said the bureau was empowered to ensure compliance with 14 codes of conduct for public officers.
“It may interest you to know that assets declaration is only one out of the 14 codes the bureau enforces.
“Conversely, assets declaration is most talked about and known function of the CCB, compliance level from public officers is not encouraging.”
“This, I believe is not unconnected with fear of the unknown. Be that as it may, it is more to the advantage of a public officer to declare his assets than to decline.”
Olonisakin, in his remarks at the workshop, said that he had canvassed and pursued a system that emphasised judicious use of scarce resources to optimise value.
“This seminar is important especially for you senior officers, who, not only draw funds from government’s coffer, but are also responsible for the resources at your disposal.
“As I have always stressed, every officer who holds a position of responsibility must also be accountable. You are also aware that accountability is one of the cornerstones in the fight against corruption which is one of Mr. President’s three-point agenda,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal, C.I. Oghomwen, said the workshop was timely and expected to educate military officers on the code of conduct and other constitutional responsibilities as well as the consequences of non-compliance with the code of conduct for military personnel.
He said it would, among other things, provide practical guide on the completion of the asset declaration form.