Open Society Seeks Closer Ties With EFCC

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, on Monday, May 14th ,2012, expressed its willingness to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in its war against financial and economic crimes and other acts of corrupt practices. Adaora Ikenze, Country Head of the Initiative disclosed this during a courtesy call to the EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.

Ikenze said that OSIWA have a capacity to work with national institutions; organizations and the civil society to ensure good governance and strengthening of institutions.  “We work with the civil society, national government and organizations for good governance. We also influence national and international opinion on issues of good governance and facilitate international collaboration because of our global reach and method”, she explained.

Ikenze also said that OSIWA was interested in working with the EFCC to strengthen the work of the Commission, stressing that the mandate of the EFCC was absolutely central to what OSIWA believes in for a fully functional democratic society. “We are 100 % behind the mandate of fighting corruption and impunity in governance”, she added.

The OSIWA Country Head also said that the major plank of her organization’s job was the promotion of ideals of an open society where democracy, good governance, the rule of law, basic freedoms, and citizens’ empowerment prevail.

To achieve this, she explained that her organization collaborates with advocacy groups, governments, and institutions to create incentives that continually enhance and strengthen the civil society. The Initiative focuses its activities and grants on four key areas: governance and law; justice and human rights; health and development and information and media. The Initiative also develops special projects to address issues beyond its focal areas.

Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, while commending OSIWA officials for the bold initiative in partnering with the Commission said he was impressed with its track record. “From your track record, you are one organization that the EFCC will like to partner with, I think we have a lot of things in common, to push forward what you do and what we do. Your intervention in the area of law, justice and political and economic governance is something we have also been looking at in the EFCC. The mandate of the EFCC is to address some of the issues you are trying to look at from outside of government”.

Lamorde who extended invitation to other credible organizations for partnership in the fight against economic and financial crimes said that the greatest problem that has hampered development in Nigeria and in other Africa countries was the issue of corruption. “Corruption has completely made it impossible for most of the sectors in the sub-region to develop”.

Officials who accompanied the head of the Initiative on the courtesy call are Mr. Joseph Amenaghawon, Program coordinator, Economic Governance Program and  Ilo Jude Udo, Advocacy officer. The countries covered by OSIWA include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

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