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‘Why agencies’ functions stall war against corruption’

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MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima

Stakeholders yesterday said that anti-corruption drive of the Federal Government was not yielding desired results in the country largely due to duplication of functions by anti-graft agencies in the country.

They spoke at the “Nigeria Anti-Corruption Agencies Strengthening Initiative Project: Inception Meeting/Validation and Project” sponsored by MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.

Chairman of MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, said that anti-corruption war was not jailing the culprits, but effective co-ordination by relevant agencies was critical.

According to him, they have worked for 30 years in Nigeria, and also raised concerns on key areas, including insecurity, accountability and corruption and dearth of public services.

Shettima, therefore, cited Pentagon attack in the United States (U.S.) in 2001 where security agencies were aware, and there was no information sharing before it happened, so it is with Boko Haram in our case.

Dr. Esa Onoja of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) explained that they had already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with relevant agencies to fast-track recovery of illicit assets.

“At times, it costs billions of naira to investigate corrupt cases. This is a challenge of co-ordination between police, ICPC, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others. Our operations are to minimise corruption in the country.”

Contributing, Mustapha Abdulraham of Nigeria Financial Independent Unit (NFIU) said that there was duplication of functions, adding that no co-operation and collaboration existing between agencies.

“Government should create conductive environment where criminal activities would not take place. Now, the numbers of arrest should be declining, but corruption cases are increasing daily.”

He said that in September or October, Nigeria would be evaluated based on whether the cases are coming down or upward, and it would based on data from private and public sectors.

Prof. Jeanette Eno of Centre for Democracy and Development, said: “Countries are waging war against corruption, but in most cases, they turned out to be counter-productive in the fight.”

According to her, in Ghana, for example, politicians use anti-graft agencies to witch-hunt and fight political opponents, adding that they have data on corruption and soon, they would make them available.


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