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Osinbajo: FG’ll hold agencies’ CEOs accountable for graft

Report exposing pitfalls in govt organisations

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the nation’s regulatory agencies would henceforth be held accountable for bribery and extortions perpetrated by their subordinates, the Federal Government has said. This was disclosed yesterday by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the presentation of the Cost of Compliance Report by the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) at a virtual event he chaired at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.

The report, according to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, revealed persistent corruption, duplicity of functions, poor service orientation and several anti-business disposition in some of the regulatory agencies. The vice president said the report revealed human issues that are not unavoidable, adding that the regulatory agencies play important roles in ensuring businesses are able to thrive seamlessly without inhibition. According to him, doing otherwise would only jeopardize government’s efforts in creating conducive business environment. Osinbajo said: “If the environment, on account of regulatory authorities, is so difficult or expensive, such that people are discouraged or it doesn’t make sense for people to do business, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot in a manner we can only blame ourselves.

These are human issues and we must do something very serious about these issues.” Speaking on holding those responsible for the major lapses to account, the vice president said: “I am in full support of holding our CEOs to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account. If there is systemic corruption, bribery and extortion and nobody is held to account, there is a problem.” He maintained that government’s plan of growing the economy and changing lives and livelihood of Nigerians for the better is largely dependent on the business environment in which they operate.

“Every one of our plans around sustaining economic growth, improving job creation and opportunities, whatever it is that we plan to do to make life better for the citizens depends entirely on the environment in which people have to do business. “It determines whether they will invest their resources, expand their businesses and it just determines practically everything,” he said.

Others at the PEBEC meeting yesterday include the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Vice Chairman of PEBEC and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Ministers of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Budget and National Planning (State), Clem Abga; Special Adviser on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, and Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, representing the National Assembly, among other top government officials and representatives from PwC

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