The war to rid the international airports in Nigeria of corrupt practices, got a boost Tuesday when members of the Project Advisory committee on the Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) in the aviation sector were inaugurated at the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry Of Aviation in Abuja.The inauguration was a follow up to an MoU signed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Federal Ministry of Aviation (FMA) last December in Lagos.

Alhaji Ozi Salami, a Commissioner in ICPC and chairman of the joint committee, in hiss opening said the collaboration had yielded several gains and achievements among which were public enlightenment campaigns against corruption at the airports, surveillance and intelligence gathering activities as well as a sting operation to arrest perpetrators of corruption.

Salami observed that recent reports since the last sting operation, showed that there was palpable awareness of the presence of the commission at the airports and this had reduced the impunity with which people engage in corrupt practices.

“There is a need to continue the tempo of the intervention, so that the anti-corruption message will be consolidated”, Salami said.

According to Salami, CRA “is a corruption prevention tool, which works with organisations’ management to identify vulnerable areas that are prone to corruption, proffer recommendations, and develop integrity plans that would strenghten accountability and transparency towards checking corruption and enhancing service delivery.”

“It is focused on studying organisational systems and operational environments with a view to addressing identified corruption risks therein. It is pertinent to emphasize that CRA is not criminal investigation, but rather a study of systems with a view to recommend a review so as to reduce corruption, the review document is known as an integrity plan”, he added.

ICPC

The CRA would be conducted at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja by a team of certified corruption risk assessors trained by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with officers of the airport agencies .

While appreciating the UNDP that is funding the CRA project, he said that the UNDP had supported several of the commission’s projects including the training of Corruption Risk Assessors in the UNDP Virtual School in 2012; a pilot CRA in the seaports of the nation in 2013 and an ongoing assessment in MDG-related MDAs of Education, Health and Water Resources.

Mrs. Azuka Ogugua of the ICPC in a presentation revealed that the capacity of the aviation sector to play its role in the economic growth and development of the nation had been hampered by endemic corruption, which led to the collaboration between ICPC and the FMA.

Duties of the Project Advisory Committee she said ” include approval of timelines for the conduct of the CRA, ensuring full and timely participation of aviation sector agencies, arrange meetings, stakeholder events and provide logistics support to all project activities, facilitating physical access and access to required documents, vetting the preliminary and final reports as well as general supervision of the consultant through the project coordinator.”

The CRA/systems study and review is derived from the ICPC mandate in Section 6 (b) of the ICPC Act 2000: ” …to examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and where, in the opinion of the commission, such practices, systems or procedures aid or facilitate fraud or corruption, to direct a review of them.”