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Tinubu tasks public servants to be accountable to citizens

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Last Updated on July 7, 2024 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu has implored public servants to live up to expectation by upholding public trust where they must all be accountable to the citizens.

Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, made the call on Saturday at the Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS) ceremony held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He restated his administration’s determination to creating an environment where merit was rewarded, and where every public servant felt valued and motivated to give their best.

Tinubu urged them to always be guided by the fact that the nation’s public institutions were not personal enterprises, and that, as public servants, they were employees of the Nigerian people.

He said the event was not just about the awards ceremony, but about embedding a culture of recognition and reward in the ethos of the country’s public service.

Tinubu noted that some loopholes were still being exploited by those saddled with the nation’s trust despite the institutional measures put in place to prevent any form of irregularities in the public service.

“More than ever, our public service must live up to its expectation as a public trust where every official must account to the people, and ours is to create an ecosystem where they not only stand out but stand apart from those who sabotage us.

“Even though we have set in place institutional measures to forestall any form of dysfunction in our public service, there are still cracks often exploited by those given the trust of the nation.

“But what we must never get tired of doing is reminding ourselves that our public institutions are not personal enterprises and, for that, each of us is an employee of the Nigerian citizen,” he said.

While underlining the significance of the Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS), a private sector initiative in partnership with the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Tinubu gave the initiative his full support.

He said that it was strategic to inspire the bulk of the nation’s workforce to set benchmarks and create a ripple effect of positive change throughout our society.

According to him, reward and recognition are the very markers of every thriving institution, and indeed, nation.

He noted that the essence of any successful entity, whether a private enterprise or public institution, was in its ability to honour those who work to uphold its values and drive its progress.

“Our labour force remains the ultimate reflection of our principles, as practised by men and women who rise every day with a commitment to building a better future for all citizens.

“We, therefore, owe these silent architects of our national progress more than just a debt of gratitude.”

The President, who showered praises on Nigerian public servants, maintained that their place must be remembered in order to motivate them to inspire others and make clear “that excellence is not an orphan”.

Tinubu said NEAPS also played a crucial role of introducing more role models to a nation in search of mentors and to tell the awardees that, “we see them, and the excellence with which they have served the nation”.

“The 44 persons we are here to honour set in motion a chain of actions to build a culture of hard work and commitment to noble principles in our public service.

“We must also strive to make sure that the values that have set them apart are deeply ingrained in our culture.

“There’s no better way to water this forest of high performance, integrity, and accountability than our collective refusal to underplay the efforts of those who labour day in and day out to hold our nation together.”

Earlier, Sen. George Akume, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, said NEAPS, a private sector-driven initiative, recognised and rewarded innovation, purposeful leadership and hardwork by exceptional individuals and organisations in the country’s public service across all levels of government and the private sector.

He explained that the process of selecting the honourees was based on empirical facts and figures that were verifiable.

The SGF assured that efforts would be made to ensure the initiative was maintained as a regular feature in order to motivate and and encourage excellence in the country’s public service.

He urged recipients of the awards not to relent in their efforts towards making Nigeria a more prosperous and progressive country.

Among the 44 persons who clinched the NEAPS were retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Peace Building award) and President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (Parliamentary Excellence award).

Others are: the Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas (Parliamentary Excellence award); and Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila (Leadership and Administration award).

Also, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, bagged the Administrator par Excellence award.

Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State was also recognised, and among others.

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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