Posted by News Express | 16 May 2018 | 3,760 times
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, officially commissioned the new Head Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, describing the edifice as evidence of Nigerians’ commitment to the fight against corruption.
The President, who described corruption as “a destroyer of societies”, expressed strong determination to fight the malaise, adding that his administration was “determined to hold public officers accountable, no matter how long it takes”.
He called on the National Assembly and the Judiciary to support the fight by providing necessary legal frameworks for the prosecution of corruption cases. Buhari vowed that his government would stop at nothing in ensuring that “all stolen funds stashed in foreign banks are repatriated back to the country”.
In his goodwill message, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, stressed the need to improve the welfare of staff of the Commission in order for them to be insulated from temptation.“
As important as this edifice is, emphasis must also be placed on the welfare of officers of the EFCC. It is time for us to look at the welfare package of the staff, who are putting their lives on the line to ensure that they combat the menace”, he said. Dogara, who also expressed concern on the issue of Nigeria being labelled as “fantastically corrupt” said,“not all public officers are corrupt”.
In her remark, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, Commonwealth, congratulated Magu for the doggedness and fearlessness deployed to the fight against corruption, describing the edifice as “unique in Africa”.
Also speaking, Thambo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, lend credence to the fact that the EFCC staff welfare needed to be upgraded. “The people who work in this building are valuable. It is important the staff are looked after by empowering them so that they can do what is expected of them and shun temptations”, he said. Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, described the commissioning of the new head office, as the beginning of a new phase of EFCC. Describing the project as “a dream come true”, Magu acknowledged the accommodation problems faced by the Commission saying; “As we increase our scope, we are faced with accommodation problems. When I was appointed as acting chairman EFCC, I have always had the mind to bring this project to completion”. He appreciated the contributions of his predecessors to the project.
The EFCC boss also appreciated the political will of President Buhari in fighting corruption.“The anti-corruption thrust of the present administration is backed with political will and we, at the EFCC are ready to carry on with the fight in accordance with the rule of law”, he said. According to him, the EFCC had secured 89 convictions from January to date, while a total of 489 convictions had been recorded in the last two years. He said the EFCC had also recovered looted funds to the tune of over N500billion.
The event was graced by eminent personalities across the country including members of the Federal Executive Council, members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industries and royal fathers.
The office located on No.301/302 Research and Institution Cadastral, Jabi, Abuja, comprise a 10-storey office block, a forensic building, clinic, and male and female detention facilities.
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