30th May, 2012
The Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has joined other well-meaning Nigerians in calling for the strengthening of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a way that would make its scrapping or merger with any other anti-graft agency unnecessary.
According to him, the activities of the EFCC continue to reinforce accountable governance and institutional sanity in the country and that the nation stands to benefit more from its empowerment.
“Today, the existence of EFCC has brought about self scrutiny, probity, transparency, and consciousness on the part of political office holders who hitherto behaved differently,” he noted.
He urged Nigerians to continue to support the Commission while promising to make the EFCC’s job lighter in Borno state, by ensuring probity and accountability in his government.
Shettima , who was the host of a 3-day retreat for Borno State Government political office holders which held in Maiduguri, Borno State recently, stressed that Nigeria could only move forward if concerted efforts are made by all Nigerians to shun corrupt practices.
In his presentation, the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, said that all efforts at developing Nigeria could only yield desirable results if the evils of corruption are frontally tackled.
He explained that sustainable development and attainment of objectives of vision 20-20 will be difficult to achieve without simultaneously and aggressively tackling corruption and economic crimes.
Lamorde also stated that the fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes was an obligation for every responsible government and citizen.
He advised those in leadership positions to promote the war against corruption by being personally upright and taking bold steps aimed at blocking all avenues for corrupt acts that may exist in all operative systems known to them.
In response to questions raised by participants, the EFCC Chair, who was represented by Bukar Abba, EFCC’s Director of Finance reiterated the Commission’s unflinching determination in restoring citizens’ confidence in business practices and governance, despite challenges confronting it.
He posited that the EFCC would never stop making inquiries and holding public officials accountable.
“It bears repeating here that time does not run out on criminal investigation and prosecution, so if you can escape today, using whatever means at your disposal, EFCC will be there waiting for you tomorrow,” he assured.
The Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zanna Mustapha in his comments, commended the Commission for its relentless efforts at fighting corruption in the country.
He also observed that “corruption is not only about stealing public funds but also about morality and ethics, which must be taught from homes and imbibed from childhood”.
The event witnessed presentation of papers by experts and practitioners in all areas of development, economic growth, youth empowerment, and job creation.