I am always delighted when I have to speak on corruption because that’s what I have been hired to do. When I accepted the invitation to speak at the 16th Wole Soyinka Annual Lecture organized by the National Association of Seadogs two things were on my mind. First, it is a rare privilege to for me to be part of any ceremony that would honour an International Icon of Nigerian descent: Wole Soyinka, in a world where to be described as of Nigerian descent connotes trouble except you are a footballer scoring goals in the European League. The second and more compelling reason was the opportunity for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to use this forum as the first public testing ground to discuss the draft of the Nigerian National Ethics and Integrity Policy which is undergoing finishing touches in partnership with the Justice For All (J4A) Programme of the DFID.
What is Ethics?
This is a set of societal rules which have international acceptance in terms of permissible behaviour or actions which promote good human values: honesty (accountability, transparency, etc.) justice, chivalry, respect for others, patriotism, etc. It guides conduct on
the basis of do what I say and do and not what I say and do not do. An absence or low supply of ethical values leads to a deficit in moral well-being and limits the deficiency-prone individual in the delivery of good governance and promotes corruption. A high dosage of ethical values can also attract resentment for an upright individual operating within a morally bankrupt corrupt society. Societies have tended to address and maintain ethical balances through self-regulating conduct and sanctions through the use of Law Enforcement Agencies, and lately added Anti-Corruption Agencies. Read more