Mr. Munir Muhammad, ICPC NTI-ACTU Desk Officer

 Mr. Munir Muhammad, the Independent Corrupt and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) NTI-Anti Corruption and Transparency Unit(ACTU) Desk Officer, has urged NTI staff to reject, resist and report corrupt practices in the discharge of their duties to the Institute.

Muhammad gave the charge while presenting a paper titled “Causes and consequences of Corruption,’’ on Monday, July 2, at a one-day NTI-ACTU/ICPC  organised sensitisation programme for NTI Management and Headquarters staff.

“Corrupt persons are enemies of progress for all Nigerians as we are all negatively affected –do not celebrate corrupt persons. Reject, resist and report corruption. Be an advocate of due process in all transactions; remember public office is a trust, do not abuse it”, he said.

He explained that the word ‘’corruption’’ which is a derivative of the Latin word “Corruptus,’’ meaning to destroy could also be defined as misuse of entrusted power for private gain or bribery, fraud and other related offences as contained in the ICPC Act 2000. It could also be defined as dishonest or immoral behavior or what late Justice Mustapha Akanbi, the pioneer ICPC Chairman described it as: “ An act done with an intent to give some advantages inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.’’ Muhammad said some of the classifications of corruption which were however not mutually exclusive included the petty, grand, political, organised and chaotic types and explained that petty corruption entails corruption being practised on a smaller scale with small amount of money involved.

“Grand corruption is dangerous and covert and usually done at higher positions in public service, such as kickbacks for ensuring tenders of contracts are awarded to contractors. Political corruption is usually associated with electoral processes, such as voting irregularities, cronyism, influencing voters, holding on power against the will of the people. Organised corruption is a well-organised system of corruption with clear idea of whom to bribe, how much should be offered and are confident of getting back favor, while chaotic corruption is a disorganised system of corruption with no clarity regarding whom to bribe and how much should be offered”, he said.

According to him, other forms of corrupt practices prevalent in our midst included bribery, embezzlement, fraud, intimidation, extortion, abuse of power, conflict of interest, insider trading, gratification, favoritism, nepotism and money laundering. Muhammad posited that the causative factors directly linked to the possibility of involvement in corruption among others included low salaries, decline of morals and ethical values, greed and desire or self-enrichment and socio-economic conditions such as poverty and unemployment. He mentioned that other factors included institutional reasons such as weak checks and balances; weak internal control system; monopoly of power and large operational discretion and weak law enforcement system. He asserted that generally corruption affects individual, society and the nation at large and explained that at the individual level, it erodes integrity, undermines trust, destroys reputation and could lead to jail.

“At societal level, corruption breeds illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and moral decadence. At national level, it leads to infrastructural decay, diminished institutional capacity, capital flight, uneven distribution of income, technological backwardness, insecurity, inequality, injustice and underemployment”, he concluded.

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