The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, said 2030 target for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would remain a fantasy if leaders allowed corruption to flourish.
Magu stated this at a National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
The summit, with “Curbing Electoral Spending: A panacea to Public Corruption” as theme, was organised by EFCC as one of the major programmes to mark the commencement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.
He said that in addition to efforts at curbing corruption, stakeholders must intensify efforts toward zero tolerance for the menace.
“Before the just-concluded elections in Nigeria, we visited some countries in Africa that we suspected our politicians have been covertly laundering stolen wealth to.
“The government of those countries were extremely receptive and helpful,” Magu said.
According to him, the initiative contributed immensely to the success of anti-vote buying campaign of the commission during the 2019 elections.
”This has also rekindled the belief in the commission’s continued collaboration with other law enforcement agencies across the globe in initiatives that are mutually beneficial.
“As we move to the ‘Next Level’ of the war against corruption, the arena will certainly get tougher because we are determined to rid the country of all sorts of corruption for the benefit of the current and future generations.
“We all have a moral burden on the fight against corruption; as such, we must take full responsibility and ownership to the anti-corruption war,” he said.
The chairman said that remarkably, Buhari had always projected anti-corruption as one of the agenda of his government.
“So, I have no doubt in me that the horizon in the fight against corruption is very clear as we move to the next level.”
Magu disclosed that 103 convictions were secured by the commission in 2015, while 194 were secured in 2016, 189 in 2017 and 312 in 2018.
“From January, 2019 to date, the commission has secured over 406 convictions and recovered several assets worth billions of Naira,” he added.
On his part, former Director, Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission, Prof. Patrick Lumumba, commended Buhari for the anti-graft fight, and said that it was evident that Nigeria was championing the war in Africa.
“EFCC stands out as one of the best anti-graft agencies in the continent and they have demonstrated that corruption can be tackled,” he said.
Lumamba said that political corruption was dangerous to the development of the continent, and as such stakeholders and citizens must have a change of mind set in the fight against corruption.
“The fight against corruption can be won,’’ he said.
Edited by Modupe Adeloye and Olisa Ifeajika