The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has inaugurated a new office complex for Ilorin Zonal Command, describing it as an attestation of the present administration’s determination to rid Nigeria of corruption.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi SAN, on Thursday, inaugurated the facility.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Command is situated at No. 10, Oko Close, Off Station Road, Ilorin.
Fagbemi stated that it was the present administration’s plan, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, to free Nigeria from the grips of corruption.
He noted that EFCC was pivotal to the actualisation of the dream to remove impediments to accountability in governance institutions and strengthen mechanisms and platforms by which Nigerians can hold public officers to account.
The attorney-general described corruption as a malaise that had been undermining government reform efforts at all levels, noting that it is increasingly disrupting economic and social life.
“Economic and financial crimes have negative impact on developmental programmes, policy of government at all levels and ultimately fuels insecurity as well as erode gains arising from reforms in the core sectors of our economy,” he said.
Fagbemi called on the constituent states of the federation, as well as the legislative and judicial arms of government to key into the fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
The AGF said that one of the lessons learnt from the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, 2017-2022 is the need to ensure strategy was also adopted and driven at subnational level.
“It is for this reason that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has accorded high priority to the fight against corruption, economic and other financial crimes through his key policy document.
“Renewed Hope 2023 – Action Plan for a Better Nigeria, which is beyond providing accommodation for the personnel of the commission,” he said.
Fagbemi said that EFCC is expected to continue leading the charge to trace, recover and facilitate the return of our stolen wealth and conduct its affairs strictly in accordance with the rule of law.
Earlier, Mr Ola Olukoyede, the Ilorin Zonal Head of EFCC, charged officers of the commission to be unsparing in their efforts to sanitise the business environment.
He urged the officers to support the country’s drive to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by tackling frauds of all kinds, stressing that there will be no excuses for non-performance.
Olukoyede reiterated his commitment to refocus the anti-corruption war, by adopting modalities capable of stimulating economic growth and development in the overall interests of Nigerians.
The zonal official described the inauguration of the office complex as a dream come true, saying that the occasion is a fulfilment of a promise made.
According to him, the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Command belonged to the second generation of the Zonal Commands established during the tenure of one of his predecessors, Ibrahim Magu.
Olukoyede narrated that the office was established in 2019, began operation from a rented apartment close to the new site, noting that the desire to have a more secured environment for operational and administrative works informed the opening ceremony.
He commended Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara for his contribution to the successful delivery of the project and acknowledged the support of the Presidency and the National Assembly in appropriating funds for the project.
The governor noted that the fight against corruption was a national campaign that must be widely supported, especially at institutional levels.
AbdulRazaq, also the Chairman, Nigeria Govenors’ Forum, said that his administration recently organised a 3-day intensive training on Compliance with Anti-Corruption Policies and Financial Regulatory Frameworks.
“The training was to keep commissioners, permanent secretaries and other top government officials abreast of key issues in public financial management, sustainability reporting and tax frauds,” said AbdulRazaq.
He congratulated EFCC on the feat of having its Zonal Office in Ilorin and praised the commission’s effort in tackling all shades of financial crimes as a matter of national emergency for the good of all.
NAN also reports that the complex would provide office accommodation for all categories of staff, has purpose-built interrogation rooms and canteen area that serves the needs of both personnel and suspects in detention.
The event was graced by eminent personalities across the country, including members of the state Executive Council, Federal and State Legislators, heads of security and law enforcement agencies as well as the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari. (NAN)