President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said his administration has taken measures to strengthen anti-corruption agencies to ensure total fight against corruption in the country.
Buhari said that the measures, including various national reforms and collaborative efforts with international organisations, were being made to strengthen the anti-corruption crusade.
The President made the disclosure during the passing out parade of 281 cadets of the EFCC Detective Inspector Course-5, at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
According to him, the administration’s war against corruption is also attracting international endorsements.
“Our fight against corruption is being recognised by the international community as real and effective.
“The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance.
“My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption.
“Also, my aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny,” Buhari said.
He appreciated the EFCC for the excellent work it was doing to stem corruption in the country and urged it to do more.
The President advised the cadets to conduct investigations that are evidence laden and capable of gaining conviction in courts.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, said the commission has arrested over 500 internet fraudsters over the past six months.
He said with the number of persons arrested by the commission so far, internet fraudsters have now gone into hiding or on the run.
“The EFCC is not satisfied with just prosecuting and jailing the fraudsters, rather the commission has concluded plans to reform them in collaboration with relevant government agencies towards making them better citizens.
“EFCC have zero tolerance to corruption as our mandate is to kill corruption as corruption is worse than all the diseases we have now and I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption.
“Corruption is a huge burden to our nation it has spread to insecurity, poverty, unemployment, falling standard of education, weak access to affordable health care, falling infrastructure and so many others,” Magu said.
He further said that the fight against corruption is a fight that must be won to secure a better future for present and next generation of Nigerians.
He added that the fight against corruption assumed a most systematic posture from 2016 with the development of anti-corruption strategy and national anti-corruption action plan which was launched in 2017.
“As part of the vigorous pursuit, the commission has created new specialised directorate and section taking into cognisance the changing phase of criminality.
“This directorate includes asset forfeiture and recovery management directorate, forensic and science laboratory directorate, anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism section.
“Others are foreign exchange malpractice section, forensic accounting and fraud investigation section, cybercrime section, tax fraud section and procurement fraud section.”
He also said the commission has upgraded its polygraph service by upgrading more professionals and the capacity of its polygraph machines.
Magu said one of the progress made in the fight against corruption is the increase in the convictions of cases.
“As at 2015 we had 103 convictions, in 2016 195 convictions, 314 in 2018, over 1218 convictions were secured in 2019.’’
Magu appreciated the President for his support and described him as a true champion of the fight against corruption.
NAN reports that five cadets: Abubakar Dan-Asabe, Ibrahim Mohammed, Aminu Gumel, Abiola Augustine and Adaku Ikane were recognized for exceptional performance during the course.
Each received N250,000 from Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, in recognition of their exceptional performance. (NAN)