New Senate bill will limit illicit wealth acquisition among public officials, says Akinyelure

Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure

Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said a new bill sponsored by him in the Senate would limit the acquisition of wealth among public officials through illegal means. , once enacted.
The Senate Establishment Committee is currently working on the bill titled “Bill establishing the National Agency for the Respect of Ethics, Values ​​and Integrity and Related Matters”.
Akinyelure, in an interview with our correspondent on Saturday in Abuja, said the bill which passed its second reading last week had overwhelming support from his fellow senators.
The senator, who represents the Ondo Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said the proposed legislation would also reduce the abuse of patronage and other unethical behavior in the workplace.
He said: “The bill will control all forms of abuse of power, lack of responsibility, poor work attitudes and unruly behavior at work.
“It will prescribe respect for the basic ethos, the reorientation of citizens, the code of professional conduct, cohesion and the prevention of corruption.
“This will put an end to all forms of favoritism and illicit enrichment among public officials.
“If you have just acquired wealth illegally, it will fish you out. Some people earn 2.5 million naira a year in the civil service, but they acquire properties for billions of naira in prime areas across the country .
“They are still there in the public service now. The law will deal with all the illegal wealth they had acquired and what they are now acquiring. It won’t be business as usual. »
Akinyelure said his colleagues’ argument that the proposed agency would duplicate the functions of the National Guidance Agency was not correct.
He said: ‘The argument of some of my colleagues that the bill would create an agency that would do the work of an existing agency like the National Guidance Agency is not correct.
“It is a separate agency as the President approved the National Ethics and Integrity Policy in 2020.
“It is a compendium of ethical values ​​that can change the orientation of Nigerians to do what is right and necessary for this country to move forward.
“The ANP has been around for decades and people’s ethical behaviors in the workplace are nothing to write home about.
“The ANO was even one of the agencies that formulated the national policy on ethical values.
“When a national policy is not supported by law, it is as if nothing had happened because the policy is not the law of the land.
“When there is a national policy endorsed by the executive arm of government, and the legislative arm also gives it legal backing,
“As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, I consider it absolutely necessary to come up with a policy that will support President Buhari’s ethics policy agenda and national integrity.
“Today, civil servants do what they want. They forgot about ethical behaviors in the workplace. They forgot the values.
“Buhari has brought together people of integrity to craft the National Ethics and Integrity Compliance Policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It must be backed by law.
“There are instances where some workers slap other Nigerians working under them just because they are the boss. All that will stop when the bill is passed.

Norman D. Briggs