The federal government says there is a need to put in more efforts to redeem Nigeria’s image which has been “hurt” by corruption.
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, said this on Thursday while inaugurating the 23-member board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The board is the first of its kind since 2015 when the present administration came into power.
Addressing the board members, Mustapha encouraged them to put in their best to support the federal government’s fight against corruption.
“The unfortunate thing is that what we have battled with this internally and in-country, we have successfully exported it out of this country. So, your job and your role would extend beyond the borders of this nation, because it does hurt our image as a country. It has deprived us of even direct foreign investment,” he said.
“It has created a doubt as to the sincerity of people doing business with us, outside the shores of our country.
“So, we must do everything and you are the ones that are assigned the responsibility of creating a new image for Nigeria, and your actions and activities will in no small measure help Nigeria redeem its image.”
In his remarks, AbdulRasheed Bawa, EFCC chairman, expressed optimism that the new board will achieve significant impact in tackling corruption.
“The EFCC has been without a board for six years sequel to a series of events that had happened which warranted the non-existence of the board of the EFCC in the last six years,” he said.
“So, it is something that gladdens the heart, with me, of course, being a former staff of the EFCC and now the chairman of the EFCC, that today, the EFCC has a board spearheading the policy direction of this problem that we have — the economic and financial crimes in this country.
“As you have said, your excellency, we have a saying at the EFCC that we have one of the most cosmopolitan boards, looking at public service in this country, looking at the composition of the fact that all law enforcement agencies and security organisations in this country are represented on the board as well as other regulatory agencies like NICOMSAT as well as Central Bank of Nigeria.
“So, we’re happy for this day. And I want to assure your excellency and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that we’re not unfamiliar with the daunting task before us.
“We have been doing well. Last year had been a difficult year with COVID-19. But the EFCC has managed to set a new record in terms of recoveries and convictions.
“With the inauguration of this board, I believe with the wealth of experience that all of us are bringing to the board, we will be able to do better.”