Buhari praises EFCC on corruption fight

President Muhammadu Buhari has poured encomium on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for its sustained war against graft, economic and financial crimes which he said has earned the government accolades on the international scene.

The President was speaking on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the Passing Out Parade of the EFCC, Detective Inspectors Course 5 Cadets from the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna.

According to the President, “Our fight against corruption is being recognized by the international community as real and effective. The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance.”

The President attributed the success story to the efforts of the EFCC and other anti-grafts agencies in the country.

He also expressed happiness in the progress that the Commission has made in areas of recruitment and training of cadet officers who have been deployed to the zonal offices across the country.

The President however reiterated his readiness to ensure that System Reforms are deepened, emphasizing that “there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption.”

“This Administration, right from the inception, aligned with the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) and Global Forum for Asset Recovery in addition to existing commitments to AU and ECOWAS conventions against corruption, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)”, he said.

Speaking on the reforms that the government have put in place over the last two years, the President listed the GIFMIS, IPPIS, Single Treasury Account, and Bank Verification Number, BVN.

In his own remarks, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, thanked President Buhari for his support and commitment to the war against corruption in Nigeria which has earned him the title “African Anti-corruption Champion”.

He said “You have been consistent and tenacious to your principle of non-interference in our work, and you have supported us through measures that strengthened the EFCC. This is one of the secrets of our successes.”

He further stated that the EFCC, on its part, is currently developing its Statement of Strategy for 2020 to 2025, which will be in line with the five pillars of National Anti-corruption Strategy which are Prevention; Public Engagement; Ethical Reorientation; Institutional Strengthening of Anti Corruption Agencies; Enforcement, Recovery and Management of the Proceeds of Corruption as reflected in the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017 – 2020).

The anti-corruption Czar said the Commission boasts of one of the best investigative laboratories in West Africa which has aided investigators and prosecutors in achieving accuracy and deployment of incontrovertible evidence in courts. This, he said, was done with the support of Commission’s development partners. Additionally the Polygraph services were boosted with more trained professionals and services were extended to other Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria.

Magu rallied the support of all Nigerians saying “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than Cancer, Ebola Virus, Coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together. Corruption has spread its cancerous effects to all facets of our lives. Insecurity, poverty, unemployment, falling standards of education, weak access to affordable health care, failing infrastructure, questioned integrity of the electoral process, poor business environment and lower GDP growth to mention a few, are all linked to corruption.”

The Acting Chairman mentioned effective communication as one tool that the EFCC has deployed in both the fight against corruption and its prevention. He then used the opportunity to announce that the EFCC Radio station will soon take off.

At the ceremony, five categories of award were presented to cadet officers who performed creditably well. The recipients of the awards were: Agakwu Francis Ikani won the Presidential award for the Overall Best Cadet and Abubakar Salihu Danasabe won the Chief of Defence Staff Award as second best in Economic and Financial Crimes Commission core subjects and military subjects.

Other awardees include: Aminu Almu who won Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman’s Award for Best Cadet in Legal Studies; Commandant EFCC Academy Award for Best Cadet in Financial Studies went to Adeola Augustine as Ibrahim Mohammed won the Commandant, NDA Award for Command and Leadership.

A total of 281 Detective Inspector Cadet Officers who have been undergoing a one-year training programme at the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, graduated today.