The Transparency International (TI) has lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards fighting corruption and eliminating waste to improve service delivery. The commendation was made on 10 August 2017 by the Representative of TI on Defence and Security Programme, Sir Ian Andrews, during a one-day leadership workshop held at the Headquarters NAF Abuja, in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre. Sir Andrews also commended the NAF for overhauling its procurement process and adhering to international best practices in procurement procedures. The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of NAF personnel and to further strengthen the NAF’s procurement procedures.
Making reference to global efforts in addressing the challenge of corruption, Sir Andrews commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for setting an example of what an institution should do towards stemming the tide of corruption and promoting transparency not only in procurement but in other areas. He praised the NAF’s initiative in introducing mortgage scheme for new recruits and young officers. According to him, the initiative would enable the young personnel to gradually contribute towards owning their individual houses by the time they are exiting the Service. Consequently, this laudable effort would go a long way in enabling NAF personnel to focus on efficient and effective service delivery without being distracted by the worries of house ownership, a major cause of corruption.
In his remarks, the CAS stated that the NAF had initiated many changes in the procurement process within the ambit of the Public Procurement Act 2007 to enhance transparency and integrity in the procurement system. “This led to the establishment of a Directorate of Procurement tasked with the responsibility of coordinating activities in the NAF”, he said. The CAS therefore thanked TI for facilitating the workshop, which he believed would further improve transparency in the procurement process. “For us in the NAF, we are committed to following through on all lessons learnt to ensure the achievement of the goal of a transparent and corruption-free procurement process,” he further said.
Participants at the leadership workshop identified some immediate and remote causes of corruption in the society to include lack of integrity and trust among other factors. The need to build strong institutions as part of measures to prevent corruption was equally noted.