By Ifeoma Ikem
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices& other related offencess Commission, ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, has said the Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) carried out on the aviation sector was not a probe into it activities, but rather, an avenue to check factors for corruption.
The ICPC boss disclosed this in Lagos recently during the aviation Stakeholders validation meeting of the report of the CRA carried out on the sector. Nta, who was represented by the Director of Education in the Commission, Mrs. Rasidat Okoduwa noted that the objective of the CRA was to identify corruption risks at the Airports, particularly Lagos and Abuja International Airports.
“We are focusing specifically on identifying and assessing those risks factors that create room for corruption to occur in the airports, the schemes used to execute such corrupt acts, as well as recommending policy changes and practical solution,” He explained
speaking further, Nta said at the inception meeting, ICPC stated clearly that CRA was not a witch-hunting exercise, rather it is a diagnostic tool deployed in collaboration with the management of target organisations.
Presenting the CRA report, a Consultant with the Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Ekomaye said the assessment revealed that there was indeed corruption in the aviation sector with all the agencies involved one way or the other.
According to the report, many factors including non-standardized uniform Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) governing operation of the airports by stakeholders was a factor for corruption.
Others were officials of various services rely substantially on their individual agency SOPs, stressing that sometimes, this create misunderstanding between officials.
The report indicated that there was a substantive absent of automation of processes of airport, inadequate of equipment or frequent breakdown of existing ones.
“There is a high desire by officials of services to be posted to Lagos airport ostensibly for pecuniary reasons. Some officials over stayed more than the normal time,” the report stated.
The issuance of the use of On-duty-Card (ODC) is absent by officials in Lagos. Staffs caught in the past in act of corruption are not sufficiently punished to serve as deterrent to others. Touting is both a corruption and security risk at the .airports and some officials are complicit in this illegality. Poor remuneration of some public officials contributed to corruption by officials.
He said some travellers are complicit of corruption at the airports by colluding with officials to pay bribes and evade the law. Information dissemination on rights and obligations of passengers is still limited and the gap is exploitative by some officials and touts.
The report, therefore, recommends that there should be adoption of a standardized Standard SOP/ Code of ethics for the airports to be supervised by a multi-stakeholders committee chaired by FAAN/NCAA. It calls for the Introduction of guidelines for posting officials to the airport with a mechanism to test for integrity both by the services and the central committee.
It also recommends that service at the airport should be limited to a defined period of two years and there should be regular rotation of staff within the beat. Consistence with the national policies on aviation, real and practical autonomy should be granted to FAAN and NCAA to enable them source and structure funding arrangement with the private sector to purchase and maintain critical equipment.