By Prince Okafor
Lagos—THE Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, in Lagos State, Mrs. Idowu Alakija, has called on relevant agencies to assist the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, saying the commission is overburdened with cases of corruption.
Mrs Alakija said this at a workshop entitled: ‘Anti-corruption collective action’, organized by the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group NESG, in Lagos.
She noted that: “If the prosecutorial roles are expanded to state prosecutors, they will be able to prosecute.”
While she lamented the adverse effects of corruption on Nigeria and Nigerians, the DPP boss said: “In order to address corruption cases holistically, there is need for state prosecutors to play a part, because the EFCC cannot deal with all the cases alone. The EFCC, the Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC and Nigerians are stakeholders in the anti-corruption war.”
She explained that the Lagos State government is not only concerned with the enactment of the anti-corruption law, but also ensuring the enforcement of these laws.
Alakija said: “For any society to strive, the level of corruption must be negligible enough to encourage businesses. No investor is capable of investing in an environment that is filled with high scale corruption and insecurity. To this end, the state government recently effected the State Single Account as a means of eliminating fraudsters.”
“The state now has a unified account which makes accountability very easy in order to monitor what comes in and goes out. Lagos State shall continue to work with the business community to ensure that we tackle corrupt practices in the corporate world. The present administration is fully committed in providing the enabling environment for foreign direct investment,” she added.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, said: “Corruption is a challenge that is pervasive, and to this end, every hand must be on deck to attack it. When people are not doing thing according to the right quality, we waste our resources.
“There is cost to fighting corruption, in the short run you may lose, but in the long run you become beneficiary,” he said.
He also noted that one of the problem with Nigerians is that, almost everybody wants quick fixes, but is not something that can be done overnight.
“Nigeria must learn to build institution and allow it to work, they might not get laws that are perfect, but we all need to follow due process. Let the laws apply to everyone in the country equally,” he noted.
In her remarks, the Chief Africa United Nations Global Compact, Olajobi Makinwa, called for concerted efforts in tackling corruption.
“The private sector has a major role to play in the anti-corruption campaign, this is part of the second phase of the project on collective action, and we cannot fight corruption and get any impact unless we work together,” Makinwa noted.