The Chair of Transparency International (TI), Delia Ferreira Rubio, has said that the anti-corruption body will stand by Nigeria to get rid of the menace of corruption in order to improve the lives of people.
Rubio stated this during a courtesy visit to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
The visit comes a few days after the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, emerged as the new Chair of the Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa.
Speaking on the purpose of her visit, Rubio said, “We are here to stand by the anti-corruption fighters and also learn from the work the EFCC is doing.”
While offering her support to the EFCC, Rubio, who is visiting Africa for the first time, noted that her choice of Nigeria as first stop was recognition of the the country’s efforts in fighting corruption.
She said, “I am familiar with the problem and I am familiar with EFCC’s fight against corruption in Nigeria as you are working in a difficult context.”
On his part, Auwal Rafsanjani, Head, Transparency International Nigeria/Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, offered the support of TI to help Nigeria in curbing corruption, and commended the EFCC exploits in the area of assets recovery.
He said, “Transparency International recognises the efforts of the government under the leadership of the present acting Chairman to address the lapses in our policy, party and legislation that make corruption thrive and is interested in addressing the menace called corruption.”
Responding, Magu commended the Transparency International for the visit and its support, and promised to continue to put in place measures that will ensure that Nigeria received better ranking in TI’s future ratings.
He said, “We are not disappointed by the Transparency International ranking, we have seen the ranking and Nigeria has moved five points ahead of the previous ranking and we as an institution are doing well and hope to improve.”
He urged the Transparency International to work together with Nigeria to understand how the ratings work in order to change the perception of Nigeria as being “fantastically corrupt”.
Magu said, “As an institution, one of our strategies is to improve the country’s image, to encourage investors to come and invest in a very favourable environment and that is why EFCC has not left any stone unturned in dealing with Advance Fee Fraud (419).