The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, asserted that he has been executing the anti-corruption war in country since 2015 when he was appointed without any instance of interference from the country’s political leadership; stating also that he believed that same has been the case for other law enforcement agencies in the country.
Magu declared this while chairing the first plenary session in the on-going 49th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN in International Conference Center, Abuja.
The conference themed: “Building Nigeria for Sustainable Growth and Development,” which kicked off on Monday, September 9 2019 is expected to run till Friday September 13.
Addressing the participants the anti-graft czar said it was high time Nigerians as a people resolved to bring sanity to both the public and private sectors with a united fight against corruption. “Unless we own this anti-corruption fight, we cannot combat corrupt practices in most of our institutions,” he said.
According to Magu, “Upholding integrity and honesty is a divine mandate of every Nigerian. God created you to do the right thing. We all have the primary mandate to fight corruption.”
He charged ICAN to do more towards helping fight corruption in the country. “ICAN needs to include prevention of corruption as a course in its syllabus. This will help checkmate corruption in ICAN institutions. As an accountant, I am fully aware of the modules of operation as we all are faced with diverse forms of corruption, but we must say no to this monster called corruption.”
The President of ICAN, Mazi Okwuadigbo said the theme of this year’s annual conference was painstakingly chosen in a drive to meaningfully contribute to the global debate on sustainable growth and development.
“The theme ‘Building Nigeria for sustainable growth and development’ is not only well-timed but pivotal to our national aspiration of joining the league of developed economies. This is also in tune with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Okwuadigbo noted.
While presenting the lead paper of the conference, titled: “Strengthening Institutional Framework to Support Anti-Corruption Drive,” former director of Kenya Anti-Corruption, KACC, now Ethnics and Anti-Corruption Commission, EACC, Professor Patrick Lumumba said corruption has taken new forms and become more systematic, hence anti-corruption efforts must vary in scope and strategy.
Lumumba, a leading voice in anti- corruption fight in Africa, provided insights into some of the key global trends and reforms that enhance transparency and accountability in state economies and institutions.
“Anti-corruption policies should cut across different sectors of the country’s governance system and should not only strengthen the legal basis of the institutions to prevent corruption but also improve or broaden their criminal codes to be able to prosecute different types of corrupt practices,” Lumumba stated.
According to him, “We need to identify gaps in the current frameworks, use best practices to fix the problems and encourage African leaders to deploy and implement revised anti-graft frameworks and models without fear or favour.”
He noted that “Corruption may never fully be eliminated as some will ask if a fish can swim without water entering its mouth? I say to you, yes, the fish can choose to close its mouth as the assumption that you can take public money just because you are in public office is wrong.”
Professor Sampson Erugo, moderated the discussions on strategies and tactics being deployed by ICAN to uphold the Institute’s Act and entrench professionalism among Nigerian chartered accountants .
On her part, the chairperson of the conference, Hajia Queensley Sofurat Seghosime, stated that ICAN was well prepared for the conference and that participants and guests will have a fulfilling and engaging time at the event.