President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to avoid being used for partisan politics, or get dragged into personal disputes.
This is as he urged the anti-graft agency to focus on serving the nation to entrench good governance.
The President also advised leaders and all operatives of the commission to resist the temptation of being influenced by political actors for personal gains or to score political points.
According to his aide, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this on Friday at the Unveiling of the EFCC Standard Operating Procedures, Policies and Manuals, at the State House, Abuja.
“I must advise the leadership and operatives of this commission to resist the temptation of being used for partisan politics or be dragged into personal disputes. Your job is to serve the nation in its efforts to entrench good governance,’’ Buhari said.
The President noted the excellent performance of the leadership of the EFCC in securing 2,220 convictions within one year and recovering over N152billion and $385m.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad to note that the war against corruption, which is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration, is being strengthened through the institutionalization of operational procedures particularly as they form the building blocks of transparency and accountability in administration and public expenditure,’’ he said.
President Buhari also commended the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, for efforts to further institutionalize the commission by developing twenty-six (26) Standard Operating Procedures and twenty-five (25) Policies and Manuals for the Departments, Units and Staff of the Commission, while appreciating the support of the Board, Management and Staff.
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.”
President 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.
“This is a confirmation of national efforts against graft,’’ he said, adding: “I understand from your remarks Mr. Chairman, that these are the first collection of policy documents ever developed in the eighteen years of the Commission’s existence aimed at defining the institutional rules and operational guidelines while instituting uniformity in standards, improving efficiency and removing discretion from your operations. These are indeed remarkable achievements and are very commendable.’’
The President assured of a rules-based-system in Government business while providing the necessary enabling environment for effective implementation.
“You may recall Ladies and Gentlemen, that since we came into power in 2015, we have consistently demonstrated the necessary political will to fight corruption. We have ensured the operational independence of the Anti-graft Agencies, strengthened the legal framework, empowered the regulatory agencies and provided adequate funding to support the fight against corruption,’’ he added.