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Lamorde Warns Civil Servants Against Corrupt Practices

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LAGOS, May 09, (THEWILL) - Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde has charged public servants to eschew all forms of corruption and economic crime, as the Commission beams its searchlight on the public service in order to check all forms of corrupt practices.

Lamorde stated this on Wednesday at the fourth national retreat on Ethics and Transparency for civil servants at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja.

“EFCC is using the forum provided by this retreat to serve notice to all public servants at all levels of government that we will come after you if you compromise your positions and engage in fraudulent or corrupt practices,” he warned.

The three-day retreat with the theme, Credible and Transparent Conduct of Public Officers in Nigeria as key to National Transformation, was organised by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in conjunction with the Centre for Economic Research and Policy Development.

Represented at the event by Dr.Jimmy Imo, Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman, Lamorde lamented the decadence in the country’s civil service, saying “In those days, if you wanted a job done efficiently, especially for the benefit of the citizenry, the Nigeria Civil Service could be trusted to creditably carry out the job. Today, the reverse is the case.”

He noted that the trend must change if the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan is to succeed.

“To bring about the economic transformation of Nigeria, public servants must act ethically at all times in the discharge of their roles. No nation has ever developed or can sustain its development without a vibrant and credible public service.”

He regretted that recent developments in the country indicate that public servants have abandoned the pursuit of excellence on the altar of greed and corruption.

“It is because some public servants failed to act creditably that poverty prevails in the land and millions of young men and women who are graduates continue to roam our streets in search of elusive jobs,” he lamented. “The epileptic power supply, the near-total decay of infrastructures in the country, from our roads, pipe borne water and schools to hospitals are all consequences of the failure to act creditably.”

However, Lamorde charged participants to come up with practical measures to reverse the ugly trend.

Also speaking at the event, Senator Omar Hambagda, who was representing Senate President, Senator David Mark bemoaned the erosion of the country’s value system.

He said the country now values money and material things above integrity and hard work, and warned that if nothing concrete is done to restore the lost value system, the future of the younger generations will be at risk.

Also in his remark, Dr. M. Idris who represented the Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, said tht the guiding principles of work ethics and values in the Federal Civil Service include stewardship, trust, engagement, professionalism, accountability, leadership, selfishness, integrity, justice and fairness.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to place a very high premium on these virtues and we will not condone apathy, lethargy and corruption as we set out to transform the service to meet the developmental agenda of government,” he added.