To enable the Area Councils Staff Pension Board (ACSPB) provide a stable and rewarding future for its “senior citizens for their meritorious service and dedication to fatherland”, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC), has inaugurated an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) for the Board.
The Unit is expected to ensure accountability, probity and transparency in the management of staff pension funds of area councils within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
It is also to serve as an internal check mechanism, conduct periodic sensitization of staff against corruption; develop a Code of Ethics/Conduct for staff and ensure compliance with same; monitor budget implementation; carry out study and review of corruption-prone processes and procedures; and conduct preliminary investigations into complaints and reports.
In a brief ceremony which took place at the ACSPB headquarters in Abuja recently, ICPC acting Chairman, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar, represented by Olayinka Aiyegbayo of Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Department (CMED), spoke about the objective of ACTUs which was to assist in entrenching transparency and accountability in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He noted that in view of the mandate of the Board which is to supervise pension obligations to the Area Council’s staff, it was important for it to be above board by ensuring strict adherence to operational guidelines and extant rules for better service delivery to pensioners whenever they retire from active service.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of the Board, Mr. Nanzing Nden, recalled that ACSPB was established in 1994 with the mandate of ensuring that pension administration was effectively handled for staff of Area Councils and agencies of the Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He expressed delight at the inauguration of the Unit saying that it was a welcome development because ACSPB was aware of the important role of ACTUs in mitigating corruption in MDAs.
Mr. Nden also used the opportunity to plead with the Commission to consider his agency whenever there were training opportunities for ACTU members.
“I believe in moulding the officers that I work with because very soon some of us will leave this service and the only legacy that we can leave is to mentor those that would take over the system moving forward. It is better for us to mould a number of people that are coming behind us, so that we have an efficient, effective and goal-getting administration,” he said.
In her acceptance speech, the ACTU Chairman, Nafisat Momodu, who spoke on behalf of other ACTU members gave assurance that they would carry out their assigned tasks in line with the ACTU Standing Orders.