The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has described the ongoing war against corruption as a collective responsibility that must be undertaken by every patriotic Nigerian.
Magu spoke at a programme organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), tagged: “Sensitization on Communicating Government Policies, Programmes and Activities” in Lagos.
Magu, who was represented by the Commission’s Head of Public Affairs Directorate in Lagos, Oyewole Ayo, also urged Nigerians to take ownership of the anti-graft war, adding that “It is time Nigerians began to have positive attitudes towards the fight against corruption and buy into the fight by supporting the efforts of the Commission”.
“It must not be left solely in the hand of the Commission.”
The anti-graft Czar also described corruption as the bane of Nigeria’s development, adding that “It is, no doubt, a major challenge facing us. In fact, we need to agree that we have a serious problem in our hands and we must collectively find a solution to it.
“The challenges of infrastructural development in Nigeria are as a result of corruption.”
The EFCC Chair further described the whistle-blowing policy as well as the establishment of special courts, among others, as some of the initiatives that affirm the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to the fight against corruption.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to be change agents by coming up with genuine information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of looters of the common wealth or indiscipline elements who are giving the country a bad name in the international community.
“There is a reward for anyone who provides genuine information on individuals who engage in economic and financial crimes.
“I also assure you that there is adequate security for whistle-blowers.
“The creation of special courts has greatly helped to remove the bottlenecks associated with the adjudication of corruption matters in the conventional courts,” he added.
Magu added that the Commission had never trivialized the roles of the media in all its activities, saying, “In EFCC, we collaborate with the media, for instance, to reach out to all our stakeholders. They are critical partners in the fight against corruption.”
“We also partner civil society organisations, international agencies and other relevant organisations in communicating government policies vis-à-vis the fight against corruption to the generality of Nigerians.”
Earlier in his address, the Director of NOA in Lagos, Waheed Ishola, emphasized the rationale for organising the programme, saying government policies and programmes needed to be regularly explained in unambiguous language to the members of the society by concerned agencies for the sole reason of promoting the desire awareness, interest, understanding and support from the citizens.