War Against Corruption is Fight for Nigeria’s Soul

…EFCC trains journalists on skills, operations

…Urges media to beam searchlight on FOREX market

By Hillary Asemota

The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said the fight against corruption by the Commission is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria.

The Chairman made the disclosure at the Headqua during the capacity building workshop for members of the fourth estate of the realm on skills development and insights on how the Commission carries out it’s statutory assignments.

He said: “I count it as a great honour to be in your midst today, at this auspicious event of a workshop on the Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes, specially put together for journalists accredited to cover the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The decision of the Commission to sponsor this workshop underscores the importance which it attaches to the role of the media in the fight against economic and financial crimes, including corruption.

“Without doubt, the media’s ability to inform and sensitize the people on the ills of corruption and economic crime is crucial for us. So far, the media has been helpful. If nothing else, the Commission enjoys a visibility that makes it the reference point for effectiveness in law enforcement in Nigeria.”

According to him, the event is therefore one of the interventions by the Commission to improve the capacity of the media to deliver on its constitutional mandate as the fourth estate of the realm.

He said: “As a worthy, dependable and reliable ally, I want to use this opportunity to further urge media practitioners to put the interest of our country at heart, particularly as it relates to a conscientious effort not to celebrate the corrupt in our midst, but to expose them on the pages of your newspapers, screens of television or our various online platforms.

“The war against corruption is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria, and for the future generation; it should not be left to the EFCC alone.

“Nevertheless, there are issues in the media profiling of the Commission that are less than desirable. The notion, for instance, that the Commission is draconian in its approach to fighting cybercrime is perhaps borne out of poor understanding of its modus operandi. But I am convinced that at the end of this workshop we will all be better educated on the processes and procedures of the EFCC.

“As watchdog of society, you must be mindful that your reportage is a mirror that shapes global perception of our institutions and nation.

“It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism.

“I cannot end this remarks without updating you on some of our recent activities. Some of you will recall that at the end of 2021, the Commission announced that it recorded a total of 2220 convictions. I am pleased to inform you that we are poised to improve on that figure as the record of convictions as of August 5, 2022 was 2210.”

However, one achievement which most of you may not easily recognise is the impact which EFCC’s intervention in the Forex market has had on the value of the Naira, he added.

From well over N710 to the Dollar, he added that following the Commission’s intervention, the Naira has appreciated significantly against the Dollar in the Parallel market, and we are not relenting in our efforts to check harmful speculative activities in the sector.

The EFCC boss urged the media to also beam their searchlights on this area as it is in our collective interest to have a national currency whose value is not subject to the whims of crooked speculators.

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