After four years of being out of the fray, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has advocated a vigorous and holistic approach to fighting corruption in the country because it is a major impediment against national progress.
According to him, “Corruption is pervasive. And for an agency to tackle this monster headlong, all hands must be on deck.” Magu spoke at the weekend while being conferred with a doctoral fellow by the General Yakubu Gowon-led think tank Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (IGLSA) at the African University of Science & Technology, Abuja.
Prime Business Africa recalls that then resident Muhammadu Buhari had, on 10th of July 2020, approved the suspension of Magu as acting EFCC chairman. This was as the Attorney General of the Federation at the time, Abubakar Malami accused the EFCC boss of alleged involvement in corruption and insubordination.
The Justice minister added that the suspension would allow for unhindered inquiry by the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Salami- led Presidential Investigation Panel. However, the report of the panel was not made public and there was no White Paper from the panel when Buhari left office in May 29, 2023.
Magu, who gave an acceptance speech on behalf of other awardees at the IGLSA event, described the recognition as a testament to the collective efforts of the dedicated individuals at the EFCC and all stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
He asserted that corruption is the reason for lack of adequate dividends that come with democracy. “Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources. As a matter of fact, our solid minerals in all the 36 states can fetch the country enough revenue to sustain governance and provide basic amenities for all Nigerians,” he said.
The former anti-corruption czar further stated that if corruption is eliminated from the system, citizens will be guaranteed the basic provisions that governance offers. He was categorical that fighting corruption is not an easy task but a patriotic and selfless service to one’s fatherland.
His words, “I urge the government to persevere in the relentless fight against corruption, as a corruption-free nation is the bedrock for sustainable economic growth and positive development. Let us work hand in hand to break free from the vicious grip of corruption and pave the way for a brighter future for Nigeria.
“I wish to state with a high sense of responsibility that the fight against corruption must be pursued with vigour as corruption remains the impediment against our collective progress as a nation,” he said.
The former EFCC chairman went on to encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to return home and invest because the government offers incentives that will encourage a suitable business environment.
He stated that they would by so doing create economic boost and reduce the incidence of unemployment and curb youth restiveness and the Japa (emigration) syndrome.
“As our nation adapts to this new reality, emphasising infrastructure development becomes fundamental to our economic growth. Investments in key sectors like transportation, energy, and telecommunications not only enhance internal connectivity but also boost Nigeria’s appeal for foreign investments.
“This contributes to a more resilient and diversified economy, generating employment and fostering sustainable development. Creating a convenient business environment is crucial for any economic prosperity. So, we must simplify bureaucratic processes by promoting ease of doing business and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to empower local businesses.
“This will encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.
“A secure environment is vital for sustained economic growth. Strengthening law enforcement, enhancing intelligence gathering, and promoting community policing are essential in addressing security challenges,” he said.