A former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Engr. Emeka Ezeh has said that it is wrong to see everyone who serves in government as a thief, “because people go into government for different reasons”.
He also urged the Judiciary to find ways to quicken the process of adjudication of cases bordering on corruption, pointing out that justice delayed is justice denied.
He noted that “not everybody who works for government or public institutions is a thief as there are many diligent and conscientious public servants who serve the political leaders of the time”, adding, “Government can strengthen the oversight powers of the Bureau of Public Procurement to prevent abuses. What is happening in Nigeria is not peculiar to Nigeria except that the speed of getting judicial remedy is faster in other climes”.
A practice directive by the Honourable chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), he opined, can go a long way in fast tracking the trial of cases bordering on contract fraud.
Ezeh who made this remarks while being awarded the Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award for Excellence by the West African Students Parliament (WASP) at the weekend said reports about looting have indeed being a shock to him, like many other Nigerians.
While expressing surprise at the revelations about the lootings before various courts Engr Ezeh highlighted the need to strengthen institutions charged with responsibilities of preventing corruption as it is easier to prevent than to cure.
Ezeh who bagged the Kwame Nkrumah award for “hardwork and dedication to nation building”, said Nigeria is not the worst country on earth, and as such there is no reason to continuously give “ourselves negative energy. We should not be too critical of ourselves, inspite of our shortcomings”
To him, the current challenges should rather make us see “our cup as half full, rather than as half empty, especially with the concerted efforts of President Mohammadu Buhari to take the nation out of the woods”
He stressed at his Maitama office venue of award that: “I feel highly honoured with this award; especially that it is coming after I left office. Nothing holds a nation together like hardwork, and honesty. And honesty is what you do when nobody is watching you, not necessarily what you do when people are watching you”
WASP Director, Nigerian Affairs, Comrade Donald Udo said Ezeh was nominated for his diligent, painstaking and dedicated service to the procurement cause, adding that with the award, he now joins other distinguished recipients like former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, and respected academic, Prof. John Udoko as those who have received the award.
WASP Speaker, Togolese Edem Degboe-Ayih, from Universite Enyansibe Eyadema, Lome, joined Udo in congratulating Ezeh, and urged to keep up his good works even in his private capacity. At the ceremony were Consultant Pediatrician, Dr. Harry Oranezi, and several student representatives.