Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Anti-corruption: Why ICPC rated NiMET high under Mashi – Group

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A group, the Citizens Awareness Against Corruption and Social Vices Initiative, CAACASVI, has justified the favourable anti-corruption rating of the Nigerian Metrological Agency, NiMet, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission, ICPC, sometimes last year.

Recall that the ICPC had on November 16, 2020 rated NiMET high under its immediate past Director-General, Sani Abubakar-Mashi, for his tough stand in the promotion of ethics aimed at discouraging corrupt practices and behaviour.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja on the heels of corruption allegations against Mr Mashi, the CAACASVI Convener, Olumuyiwa Onlede, stressed that the agency had recorded “tremendous” growth in the area of modern infrastructure, and a conducive working environment for employees.

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According to him, it was no surprise for the ICPC to transmit a letter to NiMET personally signed by the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, scoring the agency 69.9 percent during the 2020 deployment of the Ethics and Compliance Scorecard and the ACTU Effectiveness Index, AEI.

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Mr Onlede recalled that various petitions to the EFCC and ICPC calling for an investigation of Mr Mashi was adequately honoured and investigated but the anti-graft agencies never found him wanting.

“After investigation, the allegations were found to be lacking in merit. Even in our capacity as a Civil Society Organisation, we also independently engaged the agency and conducted an investigation in a bid to ascertain the true state of things in relation to the petitions and media reports, but all those were discovered to be totally untrue.

“We hereby wish to make the following points clear for record purpose and the purpose of posterity; That contrary to the media report and insinuations, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi was not removed from office due to fraud allegations or unfair practices.

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“The tenure of the immediate past Director-General of NIMET witnessed a tremendous improvement, in the area of modern infrastructure, and conducive working environment for employees,” Mr Onlede added.

The group noted that in the last 3 and half years of Mr Mashi’s tenure, NIMET experienced massive infrastructural growth, including the provision of meteorological instruments in the enclosures nationwide, upgrading of infrastructure in Kaduna.

Others are improved wireless communication systems within and between observation stations and forecast offices, replacement of UHF radio receivers for stand-alone lightning/thunderstorm detectors in airports.

The group enumerated Mr Mashi’s achievements to include: “Upgrading of Meteosat second-generation satellite [MSG] reception facilities in forecast offices, installation of renewable energy solutions to ensure effective power back up in all stations.

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“Replacement of analogue with digital anemometers in the airport and other stations nationwide, construction and equipping of the clinic at the RTC Oshodi Lagos, the first of its kind in the 65 years old history of the center, upgrade of integrated Aviation weather observing and display system in airports.

“Upgrade of upper-air sounding facilities with improved automated hydrogen generation system, establishment and equipping of numerical weather prediction and data management laboratories, installation of 102 Automatic weather observation station [AWOS] in the agency.

“Commissioning of weather stations in many universities at Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Bayero University Kano; not to talk of MOUs with not less than 100 Nigerian Universities to establish observation stations and renovation of NIMET offices nationwide and many more.”

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