Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde says the Commission has secured a restraining order on the United Kingdom (UK) accounts of fraudsters of fuel subsidy regime as he explained that the EFCC is formalizing ways to getting the funds forfeited and repatriated to Nigeria.
Lamorde made this disclosure on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, paid a courtesy visit to the Commission in Abuja.
The EFCC chairman said the restraining order secured by the Commission in the UK was as a result of the “wonderful relationship” the Commission has enjoyed and still enjoying from the UK in recent times.
“We want to use this opportunity to thank your staff for the wonderful relationship we have enjoyed. Recently we have had support in respect of the fuel subsidy investigation. The UK-sponsored Justice 4 All (J4ALL) paid for forensic accountant that assisted the Commission on the investigation that nailed those accused in the fuel subsidy fraud. The UK authorities helped to restrain some funds belonging to the fuel subsidy suspects in the UK. We are formalizing ways to get the funds forfeited and repatriated to Nigeria. We want the support to continue”, Lamorde declared.
He said the commission appreciates the support and assistance from the UK, explaining that the envoy’s visit to commission says a lot about the relationship that exists between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. “From the inception of the EFCC, if there is any country that has supported EFCC, it’s the UK. The EFCC has benefited not only in terms of joint tactical and operational activities like collaboration with the Interpol, City of London police, Serious Organised Crime Agency, SOCA, but also in the area of capacity building.
The EFCC Chairman further explained that the UK has supported the EFCC tremendously to the extent that the Commission’s academy in Karu, Abuja, was largely funded with funds from the UK. “I also remember that six years ago, we had a joint operation at the Lagos airport with SOCA, the agency funded the purchase of a scanner to check fraudulent mail across the ports. “Last year we received support from SOCA for acquisition of forensic equipment for analysis of mobile phone and other devices. He added that six of the EFCC officers would soon commence a SOCA-sponsored foreign training in London.
Earlier, Dr. Pocock who was accompanied on the visit by Hooman Nouruzi, Steve Foster and Catherine Weiss said the interest of the UK government in the affairs of Nigeria is not just because the UK is a friend of Nigeria or partners of Nigeria but because the UK sees a future in Nigeria. “This interest in Nigeria is not only because we are friends of Nigeria, partners of Nigeria but we see a future in this country that is extra ordinary, Nigeria is one of those countries with great potentials”, the High Commissioner said.
He pointed out that corruption is something that has impacts negatively on the lives of Nigerians, the government and economy of the country on a daily basis; adding that with over 30 years of military rule, public infrastructure, tendering, allocation and delivery system has been at its lowest ebb.
He said that because of corruption in allocation and delivery process, cost of infrastructure in Nigeria has been three times higher than it ought to be. This he said is responsible for the poor service delivery to the Nigeria people. “After 30 years, Nigeria has not been able to improve on the 5,000 megawatts generation of electricity supply. You can see the direct consequences of the impact of corruption in the Nigeria economy and the Nigeria state”.
Mr Pocock however said that if Nigeria gets it right in the power sector privatization programme, “the country is going to be on the verge of an industrial revolution because it is going to boost to productivity and GDP to at least 40 percent”.