President Muhammadu Buhari has advised operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to avoid being used for partisan politics, or get dragged into personal disputes.
The President gave the advice Friday while speaking at the Unveiling of the EFCC Standard Operating Procedures, Policies and Manuals, at the State House, Abuja.
Buhari, who also cautioned them to resist the temptation of being influenced by political actors for personal gains or to score political points, implored those working in the commission to focus on serving the nation to entrench good governance.
The President commended the performance of the leadership of the EFCC in securing 2,220 convictions within one year and recovering over N152billion and $385m.
He expressed gladness that the war against corruption was being strengthened through the institutionalization of operational procedures as they formed the building blocks of transparency and accountability in administration and public expenditure.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, also lauded the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, for efforts to further institutionalize the commission by developing 26 Standard Operating Procedures and 25 Policies and Manuals for the Departments, Units and Staff of the Commission.
The President said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, these outstanding feats achieved are being unveiled today and I would like to use this opportunity to encourage other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, especially Law Enforcement Agencies to also ensure the standardization of their processes within the extant laws and regulations as provided in our statutes.
“I need not underscore the importance of today’s occasion but let me remind you that the stakes are high but national expectations are higher. Therefore, we must continue to strive and deal decisively with matters in accordance with the rule of law.
“On the part of the Government, we shall continue to accord all necessary support to MDAs in order to ensure the sustainability of the initiatives already commenced in actualizing our vision of a corrupt free society.
“Let me conclude by saying that the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria is a collective responsibility of all Nigerians if we are to make meaningful progress as a nation. I invite you all to fight corruption in all its ramifications and join us to entrench good governance values and integrity within all our systems. As I have often said, “If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us as a nation.”
Buhari said the development of the Standards demonstrate the commitment of this administration to the fight against corruption and the acceptance of transparency and willingness to be subjected to scrutiny against set standards by services.
The President assured of a rules-based-system in Government business while providing the necessary enabling environment for effective implementation.
In his remarks, the Chairman of EFCC noted that the institution was undergoing various phases of reforms to reposition it for the task of fighting financial crimes in the country, with production of policies and manuals.
Bawa said departments had been reorganised and upgraded, including intelligence gathering, training and the academic institutions, to meet the demands of the job, adding that a software had been developed for operations, and a mobile app, “The Evil Eye’’, deployed for ease of reporting economic and financial crimes from the comfort of homes.
He said the EFCC already had a five-year strategic plan, 2021-2025, with clear and measurable targets, based on five objectives, which include improving public engagement to fight crimes, systems and processes for prevention, intelligence gathering, prosecution and law enforcement.
“I will lead an agency that will be the pride of our country, Nigeria,’’ he said.