The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Thursday urged its staff to key into the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) to enable them to be more transparent in their dealings.
The Director -General of SMEDAN, Dr Umaru-Dikko Radda, made the plea during a-day sensitisation exercise in the South-West Zone of the agency held in Lagos on Thursday.
Radda, who was represented by the Director, Planning Research Monitoring and Evaluation in SMEDAN, Mr Wale Fasanya, said the purpose of the establishment of the unit was to enable government workers to be accountable for their activities.
According to him, the unit is also set up for staff not to be corrupt, but to be transparent in their responsibilities.
“Our activities are such that we are impacting on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) community, so, if office of the agencies are corrupt, it will not only tell on the agency, it will tell on the MSME community.
“The idea is to approach their work with all honesty and for them to be totally transparent in their dealings with Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).
“We are also using the opportunity to train staff on the new monitoring tools the agency is deploying so that while they are on the field, they are sending in their monitoring reports to us.
“And we will be able to evaluate and use them to improve our programmes and our approach to the public,” Radda said.
He said the ACTU unit would assist both the staff as well as the small and medium enterprises.
Radda also pleaded with the SMEs to be more transparent in their operations.
While sensitising the staff of the South-West zone of SMEDAN, the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit of SMEDAN, Mr Bowie Okimba said the sensitisation was needed to improve workers’ level of compliance in their procedures.
He said it was also needed to enable management check corruption.
“This training is to make them aware of their role, such that if anything happens, they should alert us, so that we can now come in and provide solution to the situation.
“In 2000 when the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) was established, one of their guidelines in the act was to create anti-corruption and transparency units in the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
“One of the things they came up with is to create anti-corruption and transparency unit in all the MDAs to prevent corruption.
“If SMEDAN as an agency is able to minimise corruption ,the SMEs will enjoy; the SMEs are the one that will benefit because what is due to them will get to them.
“For example, we shortlisted them for training in June this year, some SMEs operators were taken to China to display their products and if there is no corruption, the right people will be chosen and it will benefit the country,’’ Okimba said.
He said the training would commence in the six geo political zones in the country, adding that corruption had done a lot of damage to the country.
The ACTU chairman of SMEDAN said that money would longer be stolen government agencies if the unit was able to fulfill its mission to check corruption in the system.