Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday vehemently kicked against the proposed legislation which seeks to grant amnesty to looters of public treasury in Nigeria.
The controversial bill which was initiated by Linus Okorie (PDP-Ebonyi), has been gazetted for second reading in the House of Representatives.
The Commission’s scribe, Emmanuel Adegboyega stated this during at the opening of 2-day capacity building seminar with the theme: ‘Economic and financial crimes, anti-corruption, fiscal responsibility and good governance,’ for States and Local Government officials held at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
He alleged that less than 10 percent of Nigerians working in the public service were responsible for the looting of government resources, adding that the private sector can only be influenced when transacting with the public servants.
Adegboyega who decried the collapse of moral, religious and family values in Nigerian society, urged parents to train their children to shun all forms of social vices.
The EFCC scribe who called for paradigm shift in the way of doing business within the public service, frowned at the flagrant abuse of various legislations on procurement and execution of contracts.
He further alleged thatmost of the stolen public funds are laundered abroad and not invested in the local economy, adding that “if we prevent corruption, there will be no case of somebody hiding money in the toilet, water tanks because if you earn it legitimately you won’t be hiding it.”
On his part, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives who declared the seminar opened, urged participants to make relevant input into the extant anti-corruption legislations which will help to reduce and eventually eradicate corruption in the country.
Dogara who was represented by Chukwuma Onyema, Deputy Minority Leader applauded the collaboration between the Committee and EFCC.
Speaking earlier, Kayode Oladele, chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes emphasised the need for public enlightenment in the bid to prevent corruption.
“The mission statement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is to curb the menace of corruption that constitutes a hindrance to good governance, economic development and foreign direct investment, to also develop the right mindset and attitude amongst Nigerians as well ad contribute to the global war against economic and financial crimes and terrorism financing.
“In line with the legislative agenda of the 8th Assembly of the House of Representatives and in a bid to contribute to the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration, the House Committee on Financial Crimes is organising a training program for state and local government officials in Nigeria in collaboration with the EFCC.
“This is because the lack of understanding of the provision of the law against the commission of economic and financial crimes and corrupt practice is a major factor for high level of corruption in the country,” Oladele stated.
He expressed optimism that the seminar will accord participants, information on the implication of corruption on the economy and national well being as well as salient provisions and penalties of specific anti-corruption laws in the country such as EFCC Act, ICPC Act, Public Procurement Act, financial responsibility Act, among others, with a view to reducing public sector corruption while ensuring effective and efficient management of public funds.
He explained that the first series of the enlightenment program which is in lime with the EFCC Act and the United Nations Convention against corruption mandates public education in the fight against corruption, started in 2014 and its continuation becomes necessary in view of the demonstrated political will and the commitment on the part of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja