Senior Council Officials in Oyo State Local Government Service have been admonished on the imperative of displaying a high level of integrity, loyalty and competence at their various duty posts.
This admonition was handed down by the state Local Government Service Commission Chairman, Hon. Aderemi Ayodele, while flagging off a two-day capacity building programme sponsored by the Local Government Service Commission, anchored by Value Plus Creation and Data Technology Managers, and organised for heads of local government administration, directors of administration and general services, directors of finance and internal auditors in all the 33 Local Governemnt Areas in the state, held at Ibadan Business School, behind State Secretariat, with the objective of stamping out corruption from our society at large and the local government system in particular.
In his brief remarks at the occasion, the Chairman underscored the importance of being content with whatever they possessed because “it is the blessing of the Lord that makes one rich without adding any sorrow to it.”
Using himself as an example, he intimated them with his principle of contentment as an Apostle of quality jobs while still in office as a council boss, reiterating that despite serving in various capacities, he refused to amass wealth for himself.
“Invariably, by the time we were leaving office as council Chairmen during our time, I was practically the poorest, nevertheless, I was not moved because I strongly believed in the blessings of God,” Ayodele said.
As career officers, Ayodele warned them on the need to be very careful about their activities while in office, nothing that the day of reckoning could come anytime.
He reminded them of the just inaugurated Oyo State Anti Corruption Agency (OYACA) Governor Seyi Makinde, sounding a note of warning to them that OYACA was ever ready to make anybody and any MDA or local government a scape goat.
“His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde is loving and kind no doubt about that, but when it comes to corruption under any guise, he would not condone it at all.
“When we were to commence the construction of the Commission’s new office complex, His Excellency drummed it into our ears that due process must be followed. He made us realize that quality is one of his watchwords, and this principle has been stuck in every aspect of our day to day administration. Moreover, corruption may be rife in our society, organization, or even at the local government level when due process is not followed, when things are done haphazardly and when conscience of our people is deliberately silenced. Thus, Governor Makinde has sent out a warning signal to us that business as usual would no longer be tolerated,” the Commission’s boss warned.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Provost of Anti Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training school of ICPC, Professor Tunde Babawale, commended the Oyo State Government under Governor Seyi Makinde for his determination to tackle corruption frontally, as well as his magnanimity in approving capacity building for his workers at the third tier of government. He reminded the participants that “everybody is a victim of corruption, invariably the venom must be stamped out of our society. Assuming Nigeria had not set up various anti-graft bodies to fight this monster, you can imagine the situation our country would have been in by now.”
Babawale enjoined the participants comprising heads of local government administration, directors of administration and general services, directors of finance and supplies and internal auditors in the Local Government Service to cooperate with the Federal Government by creating awareness at the grassroots level on the need to stamp out corruption.
In the various lectures delivered at the workshop titled, ‘Corruption Types, Risks and Consequences,’ ‘Corruption Red Flags in the Workplace,’ ‘Overview of National Integrity Laws with Special Focus on Oyo State Anti Corruption Law,’ ‘Integrity Imperative in Local Government Administration,’ delivered by Hajiya Rasheedat Okoduwa, Barrister Oluwabunmi Olugasa, Special Assistant (Legal) to the ICPC Chairman and Professor Sola Akinrinade respectively, all the resource persons agreed that “corruption is a canker worm which has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society, and if Nigeria fails to deal with corruption, it may end up exterminating the country.”
“Controlling the incidence of corruption in the workplace is “do-able” if we have the courage and integrity to implement administrative procedures diligently without fear or favour,” they echoed.
In his vote of thanks, the head of local government administration, Ibadan South West local government and Chairman Conference of HLGAs in Oyo State, Alh. Bayo Raji, appreciated the state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, for lifting embargo on the capacity building of unified staff in the Local Government Service, observing that it had improved to a very large extent the level of efficiency and effectiveness of local government staff in the state. He equally gave a thumbs up to the Commission for ensuring that its training cuts across all the different cadres in the service.
The two-day Anti-Corruption Workshop themed ‘Art and Practice of System Integrity and Value Governance as a Panacea to Curbing Corruption,’ which commenced on Thursday, ended on Friday with other various lectures titled, ‘Addressing Workplace Corruption with Behavioral Insight Lens,’ ‘Administrative Measures for Controlling Workplace Corruption’ among others, delivered by erudite scholars like Col. J. B. Ajanaku (rtd), Dr. Franklin and others.
The event was rounded off with presentations of certificates of attendance to participants.