By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed the sum of over N430 billion in different currencies was recovered by the agency from January through August this year from those who looted the treasury. Acting Chairman of the anti-corruption agency, Ibrahim Magu gave the details of the monies recovered in his Public Lecture delivered at the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria(FICAN) held in Abuja.
Mr. Magu who was represented at the occasion by the Head of Public Interface of the EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade said between January and August 30, 2017, the EFCC recovered N409,270,706,686.75; $69,501,156.67; 231,118.69 Pounds; 610,816.20 Euros; Dirham 443,400.00 and 70,500.00 Saudi Riyal, in addition to a total of 137 convictions within the period under review.
He said the monies were illegally siphoned and which, undoubtedly would have gone a long way to improve the living conditions of Nigerians, adding that the recovered sum is kept in the Recovery Fund Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria. “To put it bluntly, the single major problem militating against our national development is corruption, Most crimes against humanity are perpetrated using proceeds of corruption, monies obtained through illegal activities, illicit cash flows and money laundering”, he said.
He noted that corruption is no doubt at the heart of why a media house will owe its teeming staff members their salaries, despite their toil day and night to ensure that the publication does not miss the light of day, adding that even corruption is also the reason why our roads have become death traps, apart from the fact that our hospitals have remained in deplorable states and Nigeria has become a leading African country “exporting” medical personnel to developed countries.
Earlier in his address at the occasion, the chairman of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria(FICAN) Abuja, Mr. Simeon Ogoegbulem gave a brief history of FICAN and how it was established in the second quarter of 1997 following the order of late Gen Sani Abacha to all ministries, departments and agencies to relocate to Abuja. He said that the order led to the relocation of all regulatory agencies in the finance sector of the economy, including the central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National
Insurance Commission among others. He however called for the support of partner organization to build its befitting secretariat as it has been operating from the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the last twenty years, adding that the support was imperative to achieve the objective. Highlights of the occasion was the award ceremony which saw twenty three corporate and individual recipients carting away awards of different categories, including the Publisher of Economic Confidential and PRNigeria, Alhaji Yushau Shuaib and Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the CBN who were honored by FICAN with the “Life Time Achievement Award in the field of Corporate Communications”.