Thursday, July 18, 2024

Public corruption, bane of Nigeria’s development, says EFCC boss

Mr Olukeyede said that if public corruption was taken out of the polity, the country would fare better than many countries of the world.

• July 4, 2024
Ola Olukoyede
Ola Olukoyede [Credit: Channels Television]

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has described public corruption as the bane of development in Nigeria.

Mr Olukoyede expressed this view on Wednesday in Abuja while receiving the management team of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission led by its Chairman, Mohammed Shehu, on a courtesy visit to the commission.

Mr Olukoyede said public corruption ranked as the biggest cause of corruption in the country.

According to him, if public corruption is taken out of the polity, the country will fare better than many countries of the world.

He said, “A situation where somebody would hold a public office or position of trust for years and you call him to account and he says no, he would not account, is not acceptable.’’

He stressed that transparency and accountability should be embedded in both the public and private sectors for optimal development of the country.

The EFCC chairman decried the magnitude of stealing by corrupt elements in the country, especially stealing of unspent allocation in government agencies.

He stated, “When I look at some case files and see the humongous amount of money stolen, I wonder how we are still surviving. If you see some case files you will weep. The way they move unspent budget allocation to private accounts in commercial banks before midnight at the end of a budget circle, you will wonder what kind of spirit drives us as Nigerians.”

Mr Olukoyede said corruption posed a huge challenge to the country.

He, however, expressed optimism that the prevention mechanisms of his leadership would ensure that the commission stays ahead of the devices of the corrupt to ensure that Nigerians have good governance experiences.

Mr Olukoyede insisted that the preventive framework of tackling corruption offered more prospects of results and impact as EFCC had set up a Department of Fraud Risk and Assessment and Control.

The EFCC boss also described corruption in the country as systemic and entrenched, pointing out that the nation would fare better with improved systems of doing things.

He added, “Let’s look at our system of revenue generation; it is a system that allows leakages in mobilisation and appropriation of funds. If we don’t look at the system, we will continue to chase shadows; in this direction. We are not just going to investigate and recover; what we have decided to do in the EFCC is policy review. If we can block some of these leakages and have a 50 per cent of capital project execution in Nigeria, the country would be fine.’’

Assuring RMAFC of enhanced EFCC collaboration, Mr Olukoyede tasked the delegation to continue to support President Bola Tinubu’s efforts geared toward repositioning the country.

“The President relies on you and me and all the people he has put in a position of trust and responsibility for success,” he said.

Earlier in his address, Mr Shehu lauded the longstanding collaboration between RMAFC and the EFCC.

He said that the visit was motivated by the need to explore more areas of collaboration between the two agencies of government, especially in the direction of recovery of unremitted or lost revenues of government.

“It is important to bring to the fore that the collaboration between RMAFC and EFCC is crucial in addressing the challenges of unremitted revenue to the Federation Account.

“On this note, we call on the EFCC for more collaboration; not only in the area of enforcement but also intelligence gathering and data sharing as regards government revenue from any source,” he said.

Mr Shehu also called on the EFCC to assist his commission in the area of capacity building of its staff on revenue monitoring.

(NAN)

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