ABUJA—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has vowed to deal decisively with any individual or group in the aviation sector involved in corrupt practices or acts that breach the nation’s anti-graft laws.
Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, gave the warning at the anti-corruption sensitization programme organised by the EFCC for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and other aviation sector workers, yesterday in Abuja.
Magu said the warning became necessary following series of reported cases of corruption in the aviation sector, ranging from misuse of funds, bribery, extortion, to abuse of authority by officials at the airports.
He said as the agency mandated to fight corruption in Nigeria, the EFCC was determined now more than ever before to rid all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies of all forms of fraudulent activities.
The EFCC boss said: “As things stand, except we delude ourselves, we cannot deny that the twin evils of corruption and poor infrastructure have blighted our aviation industry. In recent times, many cases of corruption have been reported in the sector, ranging from misuse of funds, bribery, extortion, to abuse of authority by officials at the airports. I advise you to familiarise yourselves with the EFCC Act and other laws affecting your duties as EFCC will not spare anyone who run foul of the law.”
He said the airport, being the “most important gateway into the country, is strategic in many ways. The most important of which is the fact that it is foreigners’ first contact with Nigeria and the impression they form of the country is largely informed by the conduct of aviation professionals. It is for that reason that the conduct of Nigeria’s aviation professionals is key to the efforts at national rebirth, especially the critical economic mandate of attracting foreign direct investment into the country.”
He called for the installation of screening and monitoring systems to ensure that airport staff delivered services according to the best international practices; Magu added that “FAAN, in collaboration with the EFCC, can fight corruption effectively and cases of free movement of criminals in and out of the country and the brazen laundering of proceeds of illicit activities through the nation’s airports checked through improved synergy.”