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Ministerial code of conduct and ethics

For members of the Federal Executive Council and Special Advisers to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
 
Preamble
We the Ministers and Special Advisers of the Federal Government of Nigeria, subscribe to the seven principles of public life, namely:
 
ONE   
Selflessness:  Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
 
TWO
Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
 
THREE   
Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
 
FOUR   
Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
 
FIVE   
Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
 
SIX     
Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interest relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
 
SEVEN  
Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles with leadership by example.

TO ASSIST US in upholding these principles and the provisions contained in the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in Part Five of the National Constitution and in view of the special responsibilities with which we, as Ministers and Special Advisers of the federation are entrusted, WE WILL AT ALL TIMES FAITHFULLY COMPLY in both spirit and to the letter with the following code of conduct for Ministers and Special Advisers:

1] Ethical standards
We shall at all times act with honesty whether in public or in privatet affiars and uphold the highest ethical standards so that the public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are preserved and enhanced

2] Accountability and Transparency
We have an overriding responsibility to the public interest, which requires that we put to one side all personal, sectoral and regional interest. We are accountable for our decisions and actions to the public and must be prepared to be open to scrutiny by them. To facilitate and inform this process we should as far as possible, be open and transparent in the discharge of our public duties and encourage those for whom we are responsible to follow our example.

3] Anti-Corruption Crusade
We have the responsibility to support the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government and we will so express our support by our deeds and our utterances at every suitable opportunity. We undertake to set up Anti-corruption Units in our Ministries and departments, so as to give full publicity to all the implications of the Anti-Corruption law and as deterrent against corrupt practices and tendencies.

4] Support  for Government Reform
We pledge to support Government efforts to sanitise and rationalise the operational system of our society, the process and mechanism of governance and to ensure that all policies in this regard (such as monetisation, reduction of waste, improved service delivery, cost-effective administrative machinery, and enhanced economic productivity )  are successfully implemented.

5] Decision-making
In fulfilling official duties and responsibilities, we will put to one side, both personal and sectoral interests and will make decisions in the public interest and with regard to the merits of each case without discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity sex, religion or origin other than when acting in furtherance of objectives laid down in the constitution.

6] Private Interest
We will perform our official duties and arrange our private affairs in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not fully discharged simply by acting within the law but which must also be within the spirit of the law. We shall not have private interest other than those permitted pursuant to this Code and to the Code of Conduct for public officers as contained in the constitution. Specifically, we shall not have primary interests that would be affected by government actions in which we participate.

7] Public Interest
Subsequent to our appointment, we shall arrange our private affairs in a manner that will prevent, real potential or apparent conflict of interests from arising but if such a conflict does arise between the private interest of a Minister or Special Adviser or his or her close relations and the official duties and responsibilities of that Minister or Special Adviser, the conflict shall be resolved in favour of the public interest.

8] Conflict of Interest
We shall not exercise an official power or perform an official duty or function in the execution of our office and at the same time know that in the performance of the duty or function or in the exercise of the power there is the opportunity to further our private interest or those of our friends and relatives over and above the benefits to the wider community.
We shall not exercise an official power or perform an official duty or function in the execution of our office if we have a conflict of interest or an apparent conflict of interest.
A Minister has an apparent conflict of interest if there is a reasonable perception, which a reasonably well informed person could properly have, that the Ministers ability to exercise an official power or perform an official duty or function must have been affected by his or her private interest or those of his/her friends and relatives.

9] Influence
We shall not use our office to seek to influence a decision to be made by another person to further our private interest or those of our friend and relatives.

10] Gifts and benefits
We shall not accept gifts of any kind. Nor will we accept transfers of economic benefit, other than incidental gifts, customary hospitality, or other benefits of nominal value as permitted by the Code of Conduct for Public Officials, unless the transfer is pursuant to an enforceable contract or property right of the Minister or Special Adviser concerned.

11] Preferential treatment
We shall not step outside our official roles to assist private entities or persons in our dealings with the government where this would result in preferential treatment to any person. In particular, we shall not use our office to seek to influence a decision, to be made by another person, to further our private interest or those of our friends and relatives.

12] Government Property
We have a duty to the people to ensure that public resources are fully and effectively utilised. We will in the course of out duties eliminate waste and extravagance, and ensure that our officials observe similar discipline.

13] Insider Information
We shall not use information that is gained in the execution of our office that is not available to the general public to further seek to further the private interest or those of our friends and relatives.

14] Party Politics
We shall not misuse our office for politically partisan purposes

15] Post Employment
We shall not act after we leave public office in such manner as to take improper advantage of our previous office.
 
On taking up office all Ministers and Special Advisers are required to sign this Ministerial Code of Conduct , a copy is kept for personal reference.

 
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