The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede, has called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the country to join the commission in driving its anti-corruption campaigns to the grassroots.
Olukoyede made the call in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewole.
EFCC chairman was speaking at a One-day Engagement parley between the EFCC and CSOs drawn from Kebbi, Zamfara, and Sokoto states.
According to him, engagement with CSOs has become imperative in the quest of the EFCC to build synergy with different interest groups and that the success story of the Commission cannot be told without the support and partnership of CSOs.
“In view of the forgoing, I assure you that greater vigour and impetus will be added to this symbiotic relationship.
“The EFCC will also be relying on you now more than ever to help in galvanizing and sustaining goodwill between us and the public we serve,” he stated.
The EFCC’s boss spoke through the Sokoto Zonal Commander, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE1 Aliyu Yunusa.
He noted that the essence of the engagement was to enjoin the participants, noting that they were closer to the citizens to spread the message of anti-corruption to the grassroots.
He said that they had the advantage of using local dialects in preaching against the ills of corruption.
“Criticise us constructively because the EFCC is one of the most tasked, professional agencies in Nigeria today,” he said.
On his part, Head, Public Interface Unit of the Commission, ACE 1 Tony Orilade said the Commission placed greater emphasis on fraud prevention because it was cheaper and easier to prevent fraud occurrence than to manage it.
“The engagement with central stakeholders like the CSOs is very central to the mission of the Commission which is to rid Nigeria of economic and financial crimes,” he said.
He further rolled out the channels by which the stakeholders can reach out to the Commission for effective collaboration.
Speaking in the same vein, Head of Enlightenment and Reorientation Unit of the Commission, ACE II Aisha Mohammed, enjoined the participants to support the Commission in driving the anti-corruption fight down to the grassroots.
Mohammed observed that the EFCC could not be everywhere.
“With the support of stakeholders like you, the mandate of the commission in ridding the country of all sorts of economic and financial crimes will be achievable.
“We cannot be everywhere that is why we decided to come to your doorstep and talk to you. We want to enlist you in this fight. We need you to be our eyes, our ears.
“We are here to brainstorm with you on how we can improve on our preventive mandate. CSOs are the major stakeholders we have and we will always consult and collaborate in the overall interests of the nation,” she said.
Chairman, Coalition for Non-Governmental Organisations, Mr Bello Gwadabawa, thanked the commission for coming up with such an engagement, noting that it would go a long way in building bridges with the commission.
He called on the commission to strengthen the collaboration and open its doors to the public, especially the CSOs for interactions to enhance transparency and accountability.
“Before this engagement, some of our members were even afraid to pass through the street, where the EFCC is located, but this engagement has changed that narrative and has brought us closer to the Commission.
“We will continue to support the EFCC in its quest to cleanse Nigeria of all forms of economic and financial crimes,” he said.(NAN)