Nigeria has lost a lot of direct foreign investment due to the endemic corruption and graft ravaging the country, the Federal Government said on Thursday. Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said this at the inauguration of a 23-member Governing Board of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
The Board is headed by the Chairman of the Commission, Mr AbdulRasheed Bawa.
Persecondnews.com recalls that the Senate had on October 5, 2021 confirmed the nominations of Secretary and board members of the commission sent in by the President in accordance with the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
Mustapha said: “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.
“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 pivoted, 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.’’
Urging members of the board to do everything within their power to combat the hydra-headed monster, Mustapha congratulated the Chairman and members on their well-deserved appointments.
According to him, the appointments were a demonstration of President Buhari’s confidence in their integrity, intellectual abilities and competence to contribute to the realization of the mandate of the Commission.
Mustapha restated: “You are, however, required to put in your best to combat financial and economic crimes in the country. The Commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalize economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes, as well as fight terrorism.
“Let me reiterate the fact that Governing Boards are creations of the enabling statutes of the various institutions, with the main responsibility for giving policy direction to Management, in order to contribute towards the developmental goals of Government.
“This presupposes that the management should be allowed to execute its day-to-day activities without undue interference by the Boards.
“I therefore, expect that all hands will be on deck to generate robust policy initiatives that will help this administration achieve its fight against corruption and revamp the economy. Similarly, in carrying out your responsibility as board members, you must also eschew corruption totally as Government will not hesitate to sanction all infractions.”
Earlier, Bawa, noted that the commission had been without a board for six years, saying it has not impacted on the commission’s operations.
“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 is having 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, and security organizations in this country are represented on the board as well as other regulatory agencies like NICOMSAT as well as Central Bank of Nigeria.
“We are happy for this day. And I want to assure, Your Excellency and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that we are 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 as well as, you know, convictions.
“Last year alone, Your Excellency we recorded 2,220 convictions which is the highest ever recorded within one calendar year by the EFCC. The closest to that was in 2019 when the EFCC recorded only 1,280 convictions.
“Looking at also the figure that we have lost within the same calendar we lost 37 cases and we won 2,220. If you do the maths, Your excellency, you will understand that we had 98.54% success rate in court.
“But with the inauguration of this board, I believe with the wealth of experience that all of us are bringing on the board we will be able to do better.”
A member of the board and retired DSS Director of about 32 years experience in security, Alhaji Kola Adesina, assured that members would deliver.
“The people who are managing the commission are working, they are doing their best. But we are here to lend our own hands to move it forward. And by the grace of God, we will contribute positively to move forward the agency.”
Members of the board include Mr Luqman Muhammad, Mr Anumba Adaeze, Alhaji Kola Raheem Adesina, and Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad.
Representatives of ministries, departments and agencies are Mr Haruna Nuhu Koko (Department of State Services), Mr U.G Mohammed (Nigeria Custom Services), Mr Muhammed Aminu Muhammed (Nigeria Immigration Services), Mr Umar Maman Sanda (Nigeria Police Force), Mr Emmanuel Andrew Naman (National Intelligence Agency), Mrs Reginald Chukwudi Karawusa (Security and Exchange Commission) and Mr Pius Agboola (National Insurance Commission).
Others include Mr Salisu Abdu (Nigeria Communication Commission), Mrs Nwakaego Celine Nwajei, (Nigerian Postal Service), Justine B, Nidiya (Corporate Affairs Commission), and Ibrahim Abdul (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) and Mr Gabriel Christopher (Federal Ministry of Finance), Mr Adamu Shaibu (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Jeremiah Abue (Central Bank of Nigeria), Mr Galadima Yusufari Gana (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation), Mr George Abang Ekpungu (Ministry of Justice and Secretary to the Commission).