Nigeria has emerged the new Chairman of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, comprising 19 countries.
To be represented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the appointment was announced at the 8th Regional Conference of the body which ended in Abuja on Friday.
The group said in a communique that the members resolved to deepen collaboration on asset tracking and recovery.
It expressed concern about the heavy losses that Africa was suffering as a result of illegal transfers of proceeds of corruption and crime.
To effectively tackle the challenge, the body stressed the need for synergy among member countries.
“African countries should strengthen cooperation and partnership in the tracing, recovery and return of assets in accordance with Article 54 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and Article 16 of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.’’
The group underscored the importance of whistle-blowing in the fight against corruption, asset recovery and return and urged African countries to enact strong whistle-blowing legislation and provide protection for whistle-blowers.
Nigeria introduced the whistle-blowing policy in December 2016 as part of efforts toward achieving the goals of the fight against corruption.
Anti-corruption agencies from member countries, however, appealed to judicial and prosecuting authorities to support and fast-track prosecution of corruption cases.
“Anti-corruption agencies in Africa should explore innovative ways of delivering public education, awareness and sensitisation messages to the general public about tracing and recovering of assets,’’ the group said.
It appreciated the invaluable support and warm hospitality provided by the Federal Government, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the people of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Uganda has been nominated to host the 2019 conference in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for EFCC, announced in a statement. (NAN)