Gyang Bere, Jos

The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, has lauded the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for ranking the ITF first for ethics compliance and integrity amongst 352 Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Ari in a press statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs Department, Suleyol Fred Chagu, said the commendation came as a result of the surveyed carried out by the ICPC in 2020.

The statement said other MDAs that were equally considered to have displayed high compliance to integrity and ethics according to the Ethics Compliance and Integrity Scorecard (ECIS) of the Commission include, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Federal College of Education Kano, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and Raw Materials, Research and Development Agency amongst others.

He noted that the ICPC said all Agencies that were non-responsive to the Ethics and Compliance Scorecard, which measures how MDAs comply with ethical, integrity, statutory, regulatory and policy standards and requirements in order to diminish corruption risk, improve ethics and integrity benchmark and improve service delivery have been classed as corruption high-risk agencies and have been listed for further inquiries and actions by the Commission.

Ari stated: ‘We are encouraged by news of our rating as the most compliant MDA. I am not entirely surprised as we have always administered the Fund on the path of financial integrity and in compliance with all governmental regulations and processes and shall continue to do so especially in light of dwindling finances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which is negatively affecting MDAs.

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‘But beyond mere adherence to governmental regulations, we have repositioned the Fund’s operations with an emphasis on improved service delivery, and have also escalated the number of Nigerians trained through our skills intervention programmes. The rating shows that our efforts have not gone unrecognised,’ he said.

The DG added that in view of the Fund’s compliance to requirements of regulatory bodies, and its commitment to excellence, it was equally recognised by several other agencies.

‘Indeed, only recently we were named as one of the Federal Government’s Agencies with the most interactive and robust website by the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), and also listed among the topmost MDAs with regard to compliance with the Freedom of Information Act by a consortium of Civil Society Organisations including Basic Right Watch (BRW), International Centre for Investigating Reporting (ICRI) and Media Right Agenda (MRA) among others.

‘It is also for the same reasons that we were in 2018 and 2019, rewarded with the prestigious Award of Excellence as Outstanding MSMEs Clinic Partner and Award for outstanding contribution to the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria respectively by the Council for the Development of the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which is headed by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON,’ he concluded.

He pledged that the Industrial Training Fund would continue to deliver on its mandate to Nigerians even as it does so with integrity and transparency.