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Corruption fight targetted at looters – Magu

…Calls for reforms in education sector
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has said that the Commission is not engaging in sectional fight in its bid to rid the country of corruption, rather, it is fighting only the corrupt persons and institutions in the society.

Magu also refuted the claim that the fight against corruption is being influenced by anybody, stressing that the agency conducts a lot of preliminary investigations before suspects are arrested or prosecuted.

Magu spoke on Wednesday while addressing journalists at the new headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.

He said, ” Of course you have to be selective in fighting corruption. You have to bring in people who have looted. You have to remove the weeds from the chaff.

“We select people who have committed an offence, in this way, we are selective. We do a lot of background check , conduct a lot of preliminary investigation, before you are invited. So, yes, we select the corrupt.”

Earlier, while welcoming the journalists, Magu appreciated their efforts in the anti-corruption fight, and urged them to keep supporting the EFCC, saying that the media are also stakeholders in the corruption fight.

He said, “I thank you for partnering with us all these while. Each an everyone of you is a stakeholder. You have contributed to this fight too.

The anti-graft czar further said that the completion of the edifice will strengthen the institutional framework for tackling grand corruption in Nigeria.

In another development, the EFCC chairman has urged members of the academia to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century, and to nip in the bud, the rising cases of corruption in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.

Magu disclosed this at the closing event of a two day retreat for National Universities Commission (NUC) Committee of Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors held at NUC head office in Abuja on Wednesday.

He spoke on a theme tilled: “Elements of Statutory Governance, Procurement and Financial Accounting in Nigeria Universities”.

According to Magu, the EFCC remained resilient in the fight against corruption.

He also described as unfortunate, a situation where “universities have been turned into contract awarding institutions without regards to rules and regulations attributed to procurement processes”.

The EFCC boss also stated that “It is ironic that funds allocated for development and researches in the universities are diverted into private pockets by unruly kleptomaniacs.

“We at the EFCC are passionate towards engendering accountability and transparency through our proactive mechanism of checkmating corruption and we will remain antagonistic against fraud and every form of corruption in our institutions.”

While calling for partnership, he added that: “We may not eradicate corruption completely because it is a crime as long as there are human beings, but we will reduce it if we agree to work together.”

He used the opportunity to intimate participants of ongoing efforts of the EFCC at ensuring that anti-corruption course is incorporated into the university curriculum.

He said, “We are partnering with the NUC to develop a robust curriculum in economic crimes and anti corruption which will be integrated into the university system.”

Magu acknowledged the strides in the educational sector with the production of great minds like Prof. Iliyasu Bakarau, Prof. Wole Soyinka and the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, but noted that recent developments now place the citadels of learning as an environment rift with corrupt practices, maladministration and diversion of public funds.

“Our universities must endeavour to change the current negative narrative regarding the quality of education in Nigeria,” he added.

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