By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has tasked officers and men of the Nigerian Army to imbibe the culture of accountability, transparency and probity in the management of financial resources.
Buratai spoke yesterday in Abuja at the opening of a workshop on “Compliance with assets declaration and code of conduct for officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.”
The workshop was organised by the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to sensitise the personnel on the need to entrench accountability in their work.
Buratai said the workshop would afford army personnel the opportunity to fulfill their obligations as public officers in line with the provisions of the fifth schedule of the constitution.
He said the army under his leadership was desirous of maintaining the high standard of accountability in the conduct of its activities.
According to him, it is consistent with the requirements and behaviour of public officers, which conforms to the high standard of probity, public morality, transparency and accountability.
“Accordingly, I have directed that the same workshop be conducted in the six Nigerian Army divisions nationwide. “My directive is premised on the belief that every person of Nigerian army entrusted with leadership responsibility must understand the primacy of asset declaration and code of conduct for public officers and complying with all its provisions and requirement.
“This is so because accountability is a prerequisite for driving the fight against corruption which is one of the major focus of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“It is gratifying to note that one of the main objectives of this workshop is to educate and sensitise officers and men of the Nigerian Army on asset declaration and code of conduct for public officers as well as the consequences of non-compliance.
“As members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, strict compliance with the provisions of the code of conduct is a constitutional responsibility that must be respected,’’ he said.
Buratai stated that he always canvassed and pursued a system that emphasised judicious utilisation of scarce resources to optimise value for money.
He added that the Nigerian Army has complied with the requirements of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), thus enhancing transparency and prudence in financial management.
The COAS also said that efforts had been made to minimise waste and ensure judicious application of funds by the army.
This, according to him, is in consonance with his vision to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
He urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the workshop to understand the requirements for asset declaration and code of conduct for public officers.
The Chairman of CCB, Prof. Muhammed Isah, represented by a member of the Board, Prof. Samuel Ogundare, said the bureau was desirous to promoting ethical conducts among public officers.
Isah said the workshop was part of the efforts of CCB towards building an ethical structure as a modality expected to be in place for public officers.
He called on the Nigerian Army to put in place a management body to look at the ethical structure as well as incentives for living in a high level of morality.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation, Maj. Gen. Habila Vintenaba, said the CCB in carrying out its primary function deemed it necessary to acquaint army personnel with the nitty-gritty of assets declaration and code of conduct.
Vintenaba said the workshop was a demonstration of Buratai’s unwavering commitment to entrenching the culture of responsiveness, probity, prudence and accountable responsibility in the Nigerian Army.