Groups charge EFCC, ICPC to halt N1tr yearly theft
Nigeria loses over N1tr yearly to criminal collaboration between corrupt professionals and chief executives in both private and public sectors in the country, it emerged yesterday.
And to stop the trend, some civil society groups working in close synergy with professional groups, rose from an anti-corruption conference in Abuja, yesterday, and tasked the country’s anti-graft agencies to closely monitor activities of corrupt professionals in key sectors of the economy, with a view to prosecuting them to serve as deterrent.
The conference tagged: “Role of Professional Associations Ethics, Codes of Conduct and Sanctions in the Fight Against Corruption” was organised by the Human and Environmental Development Centre (HEDA).
Participants observed that Nigeria has 107 registered professional groups, and that some members are enablers of corruption.
The conference urged Federal Government to inaugurate the National Procurement Council (NPC) expected to have 11 members, five from Government and six from the public, established to strengthen the Public Procurement Act and ensure transparency in the award of contracts by MDAs, State and Federal Governments to be constituted without delay.
It also called on Federal Government to ensure that repatriation of illicit funds through Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) should include sanctions on professionals at home and abroad, who aid corruption.
Speaking at the event, Femi Falana, (SAN) noted that every stolen wealth has the connivance of Nigerian professionals, either as accountants, lawyers, engineers and quantity surveyors who procure inferior building materials, medical doctors that procure health certificates to aid corrupt officials who feign collapse in courts, bankers, auditors and even journalists, who give frivolous awards to stupendously corrupt political figures.
Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Professor Shehu Abdullahi, who spoke on Interventions from key state Actors, said future of transparency and accountability is tied to high moral standards of Nigerian professional bodies.
In his opening speech, Chairman, HEDA Resource Centre, Olanrewaju Suraju, said corruption had continued to be of major concern in Nigeria, as the country searches for growth, development and stability.
He lamented that despite noticeable efforts of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies, corruption remains a recurrent decimal, spurring a string of socio-political ills that threaten democracy.
The communiqué issued at the end of the summit noted that it was high time anti-graft agencies took anti-corruption battle to the field of professionals in various sectors of the economy.
It stated that, “Professionals should join the anti-corruption crusade in line with the relevant sections of the Constitution in Section 15 (5) and section 24, which mandates the state, professional groups and the public to fight corruption as a legal obligation.
They should self-regulate to ensure conduct of their members does not lubricate the corruption mill, while at the same time reviewing their internal code of conduct mechanism, when training their members to meet the changing pattern of local and global corruption practices that affect Nigeria…”
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