The Chairman, Board of Trustees, GICN, Edward Omaga in a statement on Monday in Abuja said that the partnership had become imperative as the war against corruption demanded that all hands should be on deck.
Omega said that GICN as a pro-democracy and anti-corruption CSO had expressed readiness to partner with EFCC because it was no longer news that corruption was the single greatest obstacle preventing Nigeria from achieving its enormous potential.
He said that since independence, Nigeria had been grappling with the issue of massive corruption that was threatening its corporate existence
“Billions of dollars are being drained yearly from the Nigerian economy, a development that is stifling the country’s development and weakening the social contract between the government and its people.
“Perennially, Nigeria has continued to rank in the bottom quartile of Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.
“This is in spite of the anti-corruption campaign declared by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index Report released in 2020, Nigeria ranks the 4th most corrupt country in West Africa and 149 most corrupt country in the world out of 180 other countries.
“From advance fee fraud to complicated money laundering scheme, straight-up embezzlement, tax evasion, contract fraud, pocketing the salaries of non-existent workers, steering plum jobs to relatives and friends to petty bribery, it is certainly one crime too many.’’
Omaga said that the recent alarming dimensions of corruption in the country called for urgent and proactive actions by EFCC and other stakeholders to end the menace in the country.
He said that it was quite disheartening to note that more Nigerian youths were becoming involved in cybercrimes.
Omega said that advance fee fraud”, Yahoo Yahoo” scam were fast become a growing illicit business among youths, no thanks to the high unemployment rate.
The chairman said that the ugly trend no doubt spelt doom for the future of young Nigerians, especially the cherished young boys and girls who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“While concerted efforts are being put in place by government and development partners for economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19, the wave of corruption in our country is counterproductive.
“When corruption is allowed to fester in a country, it becomes not only inimical but retrogressive to the country’s developmental stride.’’
He said that while GICN commended the efforts of EFCC and other security agencies in the ongoing anti- corruption war, there was an urgent need for collective and concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
This he said included security agencies, corporate organisations, individuals, NGOs and CSOs to achieve greater success in the fight.
He said that EFCC and security agencies could not do it alone, therefore, as an anti-corruption organisation which stood for integrity, justice and equity, transparency and responsibility, GICN pledged her support.
Omaga said that the partnership with EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies for purposes of achieving a corruption-free Nigeria was in line with some of GICN’s objectives.
“We are highly optimistic that with the coming on board in February of the new EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the agency will further step up the fight against corruption for restoration of sanity to our dear country.’’ (NAN)