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Taxpayers expect high level of integrity from their leaders – Danbatta

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The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta has reminded Nigerian leaders at all level that taxpayers expect a high level of integrity from them.

Danbatta made the statement while delivering a speech at the just concluded 2020 Hybrid (Online/Onsite) annual Directors Conference organised by the Institute of Directors with the theme: Ethical leadership as an instrument for national sustainability in the post-oil Nigerian economy. A public sector perspective”.

In his words, “Ethical leaders possess attributes that enable them function effectively. These attributes include honesty, integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence and positivity. A leader with such attributes plays a very important role in effectively and adequately harnessing the natural and human resources of the Country. In order to achieve sustainable economic development, such leader focuses on team building, encourages initiatives by putting the right people in the right places, is a visioner who can forecast and adequately prepare for the future and above all show leadership by example.

In order to achieve National sustainability in the post-oil Nigerian economy, the highest standard of ethical leadership is required of all leaders especially in the public sector. This is   because the government has enormous authoritative influence on citizens. Therefore, taxpayers expect a high level of integrity from their leaders. Peoples’ confidence and trust in the government increases when their leaders develop policies and take actions that promote the interests and wellbeing of the entire society. This is because public policies have a direct impact on the citizens. Therefore ensuring ethics in the public service is very important. In this regard, the Federal government came up with a Code of Conduct for public officers, which is spelt out in the Fifth Schedule, Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution. The aim of the code is to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity in the conduct of government business and to ensure that the actions and behavior of public officers conform to the highest standards of public morality and accountability.”

In conclusion, the EVC said, “Leaders at all levels are expected to exhibit ethical behavior not only to those they lead within public organizations and institutions but everyone in the society. They are expected   to be committed   to the principles and values of   ethical leadership. It should be noted that the citizens are demanding higher standards of ethics,    transparency and accountability. Therefore, the only thing that will take Nigeria out of its current economic crisis is the diversification of the economy and having ethical leaders who will manage its resources effectively and efficiently, by ensuring adequate planning and proper management of resources, all-inclusive growth and prudence.

“Ethical leadership is essential for sustainable development of a Country. Nurturing an ethical leader is essential and this will determine the transformation and overall development of the Country. Nigeria stands at the threshold of history and would definitely need ethical leaders to ensure sustainability in the post-oil era as government takes positive steps to diversify the economy”.

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