The Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation has bestowed on the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Kafayat Ajenifuja, Directors and some members of staff of the Ministry, the Ambassadors of Ethics, Global Citizen of Conscience in Nigeria and Professional Ethics Compliance Award.

Speaking during the presentation of the Awards on Friday at Alausa, Prince Salih Musa Yakubu, Executive Director, Centre for Ethics and Self-Value Orientation, said the organisation based in Lokoja, Kogi State is an international non-State actor that majored in exposing corruption, promoting ethical leadership, providing ethical education and value re-orientation of global citizens.

He said, “We annually engage about 1500 volunteers and whistle-blowers structured across the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, who annually distribute 1000 questionnaires in each of the Local Government Areas, conduct opinion polls and have interviews with informants”.

This, according to him, is geared towards evaluating information from citizens about their feelings concerning the policy and project performances of government at all levels, in order to expose corrupt practices and give necessary commendation where applicable.

The Executive Director explained that the Centre also ensures corroboration between approved budgets and expenditure, stressing that due diligence is carried out on contractors handling a public project without their consent.

He said, “From our tour of States, we have only chosen 100 House Representatives in the 9th Assembly, 30 Senators, 100 State legislators, 100 elected Chairmen of LGAs and 100 State MDAs and many more that have met our leadership integrity test in 21 thematic areas”.

These areas, according to him, include public accessibility, emotional intelligence, due process application, participation in community affairs, ethical uprightness, contribution to the social wellbeing of youth, women and less privileged.

He added that it also encompasses transparency and accountable leadership, quality assurance, public project/policy implementation, national interest consideration, participatory management style, industrial harmony, transparency, self-discipline, time management skills, staff discipline/welfare, innovation and creativity as well as integrity among others. 

Yakubu informed that all of the criteria for the thematic areas proved, with shown indicators, the exemplary leadership performance in 10 items to qualify Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, Mrs. Kafayat Ajenifuja and others in the Ministry for the Ambassadors of Ethics, Global Citizen of Conscience in Nigeria and Professional Ethics Compliance Award.

“Ours is to thank and appreciate people doing us proud while putting public criminals on their toes for holding us down for decades in our quest to develop as a nation and we have continuously been holding leaders accountable for over 15 years now and would not be deterred until our country becomes ethically grounded in all ramifications”, he added.

Responding, the Commissioner, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, thanked the Centre for the award and recognition, stressing that it is very commendable that the leadership and members of staff in the Ministry were recognised as integrity icons of Nigeria, a status exclusively reserved for the incorruptible public servants serving the Nation and reducing poverty in the State. 

Arobieke was also full of gratitude to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for making the environment conducive to serve, through the creation of a conducive atmosphere for employability, partnership, entrepreneurship and collaboration in all areas for the youths of the State.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Kafayat Ajenifuja, appreciated the Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation for the conferred honours and gave an assurance that the Ministry, from the leadership to other members of staff, would continue the good works that earned them the recognition.