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SATURDAY TELEGRAPH

19 SEPTEMBER 2015

Contents | 19.09.15 FEATURE

University Runway Dressing to kill is a popular refrain among undergraduates, but the desire to do so has turned many university campuses into fashion runways - albeit without rules

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CONVERSATION

Jobs for All Jobberman.com may be rated as the number one online job website in Nigeria, but Olalekan Olude, a co-founder of the company, would rather be modest about its accomplishments

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INSTYLE

Whites Have It Donning white dress or shirt is one sure way to create a dashing, chic look. So cast away that prudish norm that they are meant to be worn for walking down the aisle

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SHOWBIZ

A Rapper’s Verdict Rap artiste, MI, talks about calling the shots at Chocolate City, rivalry in the industry and why it’s wrong making comparisons between him and Ice Prince

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SPORT

His Defence Former Super Eagles defender, Sam Sodje, recalls the pain of proving his innocence in a match-fixing scandal he was allegedly involved in

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PEOPLE

From the Countryside to Boardroom Director-general of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, talks about how growing up in the village shaped his worldview

}34 Plus: Street Diary 10 | Investigations 24

SATURDAY

Comment

Mr. President and his assets

L

eadership is just all it takes to move a country from a position of hopelessness to the high point of greatness. President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against sleaze is in full gear following his declaration of assets on Thursday September 3, 2015, alongside Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Modesty captures all that President Buhari made public. One bank account, five houses, including two mud houses inherited from his forebears, plots of land in Kano and PortHarcourt, shares in Union and Skye banks, Berger Paints, 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses and few vehicles. The disclosure of assets helps to provide a baseline and thus means for comparison to identify assets that may have been corruptly acquired and that a public official may legitimately be asked to account for. A good disclosure system can, further, be the basis for successfully enforcing criminal and other legal anti-corruption provisions. This must serve a useful lesson for the National Assembly as they can borrow a leaf from the United Kingdom experience. In the UK the House of Commons set up a register of interest in May 1974 maintained by the parliamentary Commissioner for Standards as laid out in the House of Commons Standing Order No. 150. “The purpose of the register is to encourage transparency and accountability. It is “to provide information of any pecuniary interest or other material benefit which a Member receives which might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in the capacity of a Member of Parliament”. The register is not intended to be an indicator of a member of parliament’s personal wealth, nor is registration an indication that a member is at fault”. Our Senate and House of Repre-

sentatives can draw useful experience from the model and complement the Buhari administration’s resolve to fight corruption through transparency and accountability. There is need for Nigeria to embrace international best practices on asset declaration by our public officials by considering the following measures: • Extending asset declaration to members of families of public officials • Constituting a code of conduct on asset declaration for our parliamentarians • Setting up the office of the ombudsman to monitor and enforce compliance • Creating a register of interests to be rigorously enforced by our parliamentarians • Other measures depending on the model being adopted. Next to public declaration of assets is the need to insist on code of conduct for public officials. Whether for parliamentarians or public officials, codes of conduct help to build an atmosphere of ethics. For government officials, they offer a clear, concise frame of reference for an institution’s ethical principles in a single document. Within a government, codes of conduct strive to decrease corruption and increase accountability among public officials – whether elected or appointed. The aim of these codes, which may be voluntary norms or legally enforced, is to make sure that the public’s interest is protected. When designed well, codes of conduct offer clear ethical standards and a reference point which citizens and governments can use to assess the behaviour of public officials. Codes of conduct typically are combined with sets of penalties and other punishments for public officials found to be in violation of them. No doubt, asset declaration by our President and Vice President is a step in the right direction. We can now say that the war against corruption has actually started.

DAILY TELEGRAPH PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief

Funke Egbemode

Editor n Yemi Ajayi Editor, Saturday n Laurence Ani Editor, Sunday n Emeka Madunagu

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