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EFCC to prioritise corruption prevention, says Bawa

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said the commission will prioritise measures aimed at preventing corruption to save the huge cost of prosecuting corruption cases.

He said other measures undertaken by the agency included the re-launch of the inter-faith dialogue and instilling the culture of integrity among the youth.

Bawa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in New York, the United States of America (U.S.A), that one of the best means to fight corruption in the country was for Nigerians to have attitudinal change.

The EFCC boss said the commission was exploring Nigeria’s religious strength, adding that Nigerians are unarguably the most religious people on earth.

He said the EFCC had, in 2012, launched the interfaith dialogue, which brought the leadership of Christians and Islam in the country together.

“We developed a manual that we intend to give to these faith-based institutions to give to their followers and will also discuss the need to partner with the EFCC.

“We are working towards the second edition. Already, the leaders of these institutions have been incorporated and they are working towards re-launching it and ensuring the implementation of the manual.

“We want to tap on our religious strength in Nigeria because corruption can be checkmated with a change in attitude,” he said.

Bawa also told NAN that the commission was pushing for the establishment of anti-corruption studies in the school curriculum.

The EFCC boss said the commission had established integrity clubs in schools and at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps to instill the culture of integrity in the youth.

“We have anti-corruption clubs in some tertiary institutions and we are trying to push at the national level to include anti-corruption study in students’ curriculum.”

“The trend around the world is to include anti-corruption in schools’ curricula to be able to catch them young in terms of their understanding.

“By and large, when you look at the issue of corruption, it is about loving your country; it is about patriotism, about doing the right thing. This, to me, will make Nigeria better,” he said.

The EFCC boss emphasised the need to promote anti-corruption and culture of integrity in schools to make Nigeria a corrupt-free nation.

Also, Bawa said the EFCC had begun the process of carrying out fraud risk assessment on Federal Government agencies as part of efforts to fight corruption in the country.

“The idea is for us to advise government on vulnerability of those agencies to fraud and corruption.

“We have already engaged the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. They are willing to partner with us towards carrying fraud risk assessment on all the corporations under the ministry,” he said.

Bawa also advised Nigerians living outside the country to desist from cybercrimes.

He noted that Business Email Compromise (BEC) and wire fraud committed by some Nigerians was tarnishing the image of the country.

“Some of our brothers and sisters are involved in cybercrimes. It is terribly tarnishing our image back home.

“They (Diasporas) should talk to one another to desist from doing that,” he said.

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