The newly appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has unveiled his plan for the commission after receiving Senate confirmation on Wednesday, along with Mr. Muhammad Hammajoda, who was confirmed as the Secretary of the Commission.
The confirmation followed their screening and the opportunity to address the upper legislative chamber during the plenary session.
Olukoyede outlined three key focus areas and posed three important questions to guide his approach in his new role. These focus areas are centred on adhering to the EFCC’s mandate, promoting transparency and accountability, and enhancing Nigeria’s image.
To achieve these objectives, he emphasized the necessity of collective responsibility, a stronger emphasis on preventative measures against corruption, and increased attention to financial transactions.
He stated, “We need to recalibrate our priorities. Section 6 of the EFCC Act has clearly defined the responsibilities of an anti-corruption agency. First and foremost, we should concentrate on driving economic development. Second, we must establish an environment characterized by transparency and accountability. Third, as an anti-corruption agency, we must contribute to enhancing Nigeria’s reputation.”
Furthermore, Olukoyede presented three questions for consideration, stating, “First, we need to embrace collective responsibility. We must reach a point in Nigeria where we unite in recognizing that corruption hinders our progress. We need to come together and acknowledge that financial crimes have undermined our institutions and systems in Nigeria. If we fail to address this issue, our progress will be sluggish. The time has come for us to demonstrate our commitment.”
He also advocated for a shift towards prevention over enforcement, emphasizing that, “Enforcement is a powerful tool at our disposal, and we will apply it rigorously.”
Additionally, Olukoyede stressed the importance of implementing a transactional credit system to intensify the fight against corruption, stating, “If we continue to allow Nigerians to purchase homes and vehicles with cash, even a thousand EFCC agents, along with a million ICPC agents, will not yield substantial results.”
The new EFCC Chairman called for enhancements in the criminal justice system, asserting that “if we genuinely aim to combat corruption, we must encourage our criminal justice system to expedite proceedings to ensure that maximum prosecution does not extend beyond five years. An effective criminal justice system will shed light on the work of anti-corruption agencies and benefit everyone.”
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