CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Nigerian Telecoms Regulator Is FMoCDE Standards Bearer On Integrity-Independent Corrupt Practices Commission

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By Angeline Mgbele, Correspondent Abuja

Independent Telecommunications regulatory authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), is the standards bearer on integrity for the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) and its agences, according to the 2020 Ethics Compliance and Integrity Scorecard (ECIS), unveiled recently by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

From the 13-page scorecard document, which we obtained from https//www.icpc.gov.ng, the telecom regulator relegates the Ministry and three of its agencies featured in the infra-ministerial agencies’ ranking in ethics compliance and institutional integrity with 81.15 per cent.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is the newest agency to collocate with NCC and others, came second with a total score of 74.05 per cent; Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComsat) followed with a score of 31.9 per cent while the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) sits on the fourth position with 17.65 per cent. The supervising Ministry was ranked 72.05 per cent.

The NCC also leads 24 regulatory agencies to emerge most ethically-compliant parastatal among 25 other regulatory agencies assessed in the anti-graft agency’s ECIS, 2020.

According to the ICPC’s report, which mirrors how Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government comply with ethical, integrity, statutory, regulatory and policy standards and requirements, the NCC came first with a score of 81.15 per cent in this category.

NCC’s ranking on the 2020 Scorecard may not have taken analysts by surprise as the Commission continually wants itself to be perceived as a diligent and transparent regulatory authority. Besides, the catalytic role it plays as a member of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), which is the Federal Government’s vanguard for promoting ethics and ensuring compliance to ethical codes within the Nigerian Public sector, certainly may have counted for it in the ICPC rating.

The Scorecard, deployed between July and September 2020 in 352 MDAs, validates the ethical culture and high standards of integrity, which underline the operations and regulatory activities of the Commission. The ranking by ICPC, also verifies NCC’s commitment to the orderly growth and development of the Nigerian telecommunications industry as it underscores the Commission’s strategic role as a key enabler of positive change within Nigeria’s socio-economic landscape.

The Commission is fully converted on the vision of the current Administration, and, on Anti-Corruption and is committed to continue to support the Federal Government’s digital economy agenda to rapidly advance the socioeconomic development of Nigeria, through leveraging Information and Communications Technologies to drive performance across all the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy through its fair, firm, forthright and transparent regulatory approach.

As the internal anti-corruption and transparency mechanism put in place within the Commission to improve the integrity of internal processes for better service delivery, the ACTU has been instrumental to the implementation of ICPC’s framework for promoting an ethical environment.

ICPC says it came up with the ECIS pursuant to its preventive mandate under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and reinforcing its drive to strengthen integrity, accountability and transparency in public service and systems.

As per ICPC, only 220 MDAs responded to its request to supply revevant data, despite a grace period of three weeks for submission. Assessed public institutions were also scored and rated according to their compliance level. While MDAs rated compliant on the score are commended, it says, non-responsive MDAs have been classed as “Corruption High Risk Agencies” and listed for further inquiries and actions by the Commission.

“Government institutions and agencies are reminded that the Scorecard will be deployed in 2021 and therefore enjoined to adopt and instill compliance values in their systems and procedures and respond as appropriate to the ECIS and other corruption preventive tools in our collective drive to fight corruption,” the agency says.

Editor’S Note: To view the full scorecard, go to: https://icpc.gov.ng/2020/11/10/advertorial-ethics-compliance-and-integrity-scorecard-2020/

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