The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has urged Nigerians to actively get involved in the fight against corruption by providing information to the anti-corruption agencies.
He made the call on Thursday, October 12, 2017in Abuja during the unveiling of Corruption Anonymous (CORA), – a whistle blower support project held at the Yar’ Adua Centre.
The launch was organized by Africa Centre for Media and Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, with the active collaboration of relevant stakeholders including EFCC, to give momentum to whistle blowing, which is already yielding positive results as a strategic tool in the efforts to reduce corruption in the country.
Magu, who was represented by Osita Nwajah, Director, Public Affairs, EFCC, said that this project and the whistle-blower policy underscore the Commission’s repeated admonition to Nigerians to come together in dealing with the cankerworm of corruption.
“In this modern time, we cannot fight corruption alone, but we need every Nigerian to come join in the anti-graft war because of the negative effect of corruption. Corruption does not discriminate against ethnicity, religion or political affiliation’’, he said.
He stressed the need to have a common consensus on the fight against corruption so that those who are feasting in its temple are stopped and punished.
“At the EFCC we have created an environment where those who have information about corrupt practices can approach the Commission, and confidently give us information that will be put into effective use’’, he added.
The EFCC boss said that the Commission through this initiative has seen many Nigerians whose motivation was not just to benefit from the recovered assets which attract a 5% reward as provided in the whistle blowing policy, but the contentment of ensuring transparency and accountability amongst government officials.
He said that since the commencement of the whistle-blower policy the Commission had received hundreds of actionable tips that led to the recovery of N527.6million, $52.2millon, £21.2 million and €547.7 million.
Magu added that the “Commission has treated every tip referred to them with strict sense of responsibility bearing in mind that such undertaking by the whistle-blower was a matter of trust and even risk”.
In his welcome address, Chido Onumah, Coordinator, AFRICMIL, described corruption as the number one enemy of Nigeria and the reason the country remains underdeveloped.
He said that corruption was the cancer that was destroying the foundation of our society, adding that “if drastic measures are not taken to deal with it we will soon have no country”.
Onumah disclosed that the organisation had lined up series of activities, which included creating awareness through the media and civil society engagement, to achieve their goal of popularising whistle-blowing as a tool for reducing corruption.
“In less than a year of its introduction, it has led to the recovery of staggering amounts of looted funds, thus proving to be an effective and reliable mechanism for combating corruption. The whistle-blower policy since inception has been a success”.
Also speaking Dayo Olaide, Representative MacArthur Foundation, identified ‘2H’ to pay attention to when tackling corruption. According to him, the ‘2H’ are ‘Hopelessness’ and ‘Helplessness’.
He added that for a citizen to report any corrupt practices, he must be guaranteed that the government would take action noting that the Foundation would continue to support Nigeria in its fight against corruption.