Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has called on African countries to have a common resolve in tackling corruption noting that, most of the problems confronting the continent were directly or indirectly linked to the monster.
“It is quite clear that most of the problems confronting Africa are directly or indirectly linked to corruption, it is therefore imperative that countries must close ranks to defeat this monster”, he said.
Magu made the call on Monday, June 4, 2018 while addressing a high level continental consultative meeting on corruption and good governance, Africa Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, at Rockview Hotel, Abuja.
He implored the delegation to “look at the leakages affecting our economies regarding illicit financial flows” stressing that the meeting should “serve as an avenue for stock taking on the progress Africa has made or is making, on various anti-corruption fronts, particularly in tracking and checking illicit financial flows in line with Africa’s vision to develop a common strategy for asset recovery”.
The EFCC boss also charged African countries to come up with proposals to reassure the world that returned stolen assets would be accounted for, as it would go a long way in engendering the much needed support and cooperation of other countries.
He also assured the meeting of Nigeria’s zeal to fight corruption adding that, the “Buhari-led administration is determined to ensure that those who steal our common patrimony are punished, if nothing else to serve as deterrent to others”.
According to him, the EFCC has secured over 603 convictions in the last three years
“We must empower our anti-corruption agencies to discharge their responsibilities while insulating them from any form of interference”, he added.
The anti-graft czar also underlined the role of the judiciary to the success or otherwise of the corruption fight saying, “The judiciary too must be willing to support the fight against corruption by ensuring that justice is served, no matter the cost and above all, the political leadership must exhibit the will to fight corruption”.
In his presentation, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, attributed corruption to bad leadership.
According to him, a country’s success is dependent on the efforts and determination of national leaders with vision to fight corruption. He added that “in countries where leadership has not changed for a while, the outcome due to corruption has remained the same or deteriorated, whereas in countries where visionary leaders have emerged, corruption has diminished no matter how minimal”.
Prof. Al-Amin Abu-Manga, APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, at the meeting advocated for the sensitization and active participation of youths in the fight against corruption saying, “it is the responsibility of every African to fight the scourge of corruption which is of paramount importance in Africa”.
Stakeholders at the meeting include EFCC, ICPC, PACAC, NEPAD/APRM, AU Advisory Board on Corruption (AU ABC), AU Department of Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders.