BY EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—VICE PRESIDENT Namadi Sambo yesterday said the Federal Government was poised towards reducing corruption to its barest minimum in a bid to ensure good governance in the country.
The Vice President disclosed this during the foundation laying of the new N18.8billiobn ultra-modern Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, headquarters in Abuja, saying investing into the project clearly pointed to the fact that government was not relenting in its effort to checkmate corruption in the country.
According to him, it is a message that perpetrators of corruption, no matter their rank or position, will be exposed and brought to justice.
He explained further that good governance was a major product of diligent anti-graft work, adding that Nigeria must do all it could to achieve this laudable objective.
“Democracy and development which we all desire will be at great risk if corruption continues to prevail in our public life,” the VP said, adding “all facilities that will enable us vigorously fight the cankerworm must, therefore, be provided.”
He noted that Nigeria must take its pride of place in the comity of nations, as “the black race looks up to Nigeria for leadership and the international community equally looks up to Nigeria in resolving some of the world’s most intractable problems, particularly in Africa.
“We will not be able to live up to those expectations in the midst of corruption and bad governance.”
Earlier in her address, chairman of the anti-graft commission, Farida Waziri, while acknowledging the commitment of the Federal Government in the war against graft, however, lamented that it would be difficult to completely eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
In her words, “there is no way you can eradicate corruption in this country.”
The EFCC boss however added that the commission is poised to fight the menace and reduce it to the minimum so that the country can move forward.
“We will do everything humanly possible to fight the scourge,” Waziri stressed, assuring that all staff of the commission are dedicated to their assignment and would work even harder with the enabling environment.
“The EFCC is run in several rented offices in the FCT and elsewhere and that is not how to run an organisation as sensitive as this.
Disclosing that the EFCC has recovered over $11 billion in its seven years of existence, the EFCC chairman added; “If we are to have a befitting building with the gadgets modern technology demands of an organisation of this nature, we will achieve much more.”
The new headquarters which was approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for the EFCC is a10-storey building which will cost N18, 867, 283, 615.14.
The project was awarded to Julius Berger and is expected to be completed within a period of 38 months..
To ensure the execution of the contract, the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, has issued a due process certificate of ‘No Objection’.