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Osinbajo seeks Africa-wide collaboration on anti-graft war

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Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for more collaboration amongst African countries, stressing that it was key to winning the fight against corruption.

He said: “It is only through collective action that we can stay ahead of the criminal elements who rob our countries and our citizens of their present and their future.

“We must also work hard to build cooperation and mutual understanding. We must insist that recovered stolen assets be returned to countries of origin, without any preconditions in line with article 51 UNCAC.”

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening ceremony of the 8th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, yesterday also reiterated the commitment of the current administration to the corruption fight.

Describing corruption as “a crime against humanity”, he said it was only through “collaborations and mutual understanding amongst African countries”, that the scourge can be eliminated. ‘’Recovered funds must also be returned to countries of origin without preconditions,” he added.

While acknowledging the “complex nature” of obtaining legal assistance in repatriating looted funds, he said, “as a global challenge, corruption must be tackled globally.”

He further noted that “the fight against corruption is futile, if proceeds of corruption find safe haven”.

Osinbajo used the opportunity to request that foreign states should agree to apply the highest possible standards of transparency at all stages. He called on governments of African states to more actively provide money, moral and legal support for anti-corruption agencies.

“We must provide adequate resources to investigate, to adequately improve operatives, to protect their families and to protect whistleblowers,” he said.

Secretary General, Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, while describing the conference as “a demonstration that we are all eager to create a paradigm shift”, said the next four days will avail the delegations, opportunity to meet with the challenges of one another.

“We will be seeking to meet the challenges of one another over the next four days. This conference is a demonstration that we are all eager to create a paradigm shift”, Scotland said.

In his welcome remarks, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, said that the anti-corruption fight as the cardinal point of the present’s administration was not accidental.

Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), called on public servants to be honest and transparent, stressing that they should be constantly checked, to ensure they do not tamper with public funds.

On his own part, Prof. Wole Soyinka said, “Until we make sure some of our leaders pass through the jail doors of the new EFCC headquarters, the fight against corruption will not be won.”

Meanwhile, Osinbajo yesterday met with members of the Economic Management Team (EMT) to re-strategies on Federal Government’s efforts for creating more jobs in the country.

Members however declined to speak to newsmen after the meeting.

The EMT meets every week to discuss national issues bothering on growing the economy.

Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the Vice President Laolu Akande in a tweet yesterday said the EMT deliberated on employment initiatives.

He said, “Vice President Osinbajo now presiding over Economic Management Team meeting discussing and reviewing employment initiatives with presentations from Labour and Employment Minister, Presidential Economic Adviser, SSA Npower/jobs and the Statistician-General-Its about drilling down to create more jobs.”


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