*Says terrorism, militancy, banditry products of corruption
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – ACTING Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has alleged that some state governors covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote.’
Magu who stated this while presenting a paper with the theme, “Imperative of Fighting Corruption/Terrorism Financing in Nigeria” at the induction of new and returning governors at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he was not going into debate on the constitutionality of security vote.
He advised that the governors must be conscious of transparency in the expenditure of public funds.
According to him “we have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors – cashing on the insecurity in their states.
“insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1bn arm procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired.”
He said that corruption can also not be divorced from the festering insurgency in the Northeast, adding, “Mass poverty in the region due in part to corruption by the ruling elite, is largely to blame for the ease with which the Islamists are able to recruit fighters to sustain their aggression against the Nigerian state.”
The anti-corruption boss further pointed out that the militancy in the Niger Delta and insurgency in the Northeast were by-products of corruption.
He said, “As an investigator, I am shocked by the quantum of resources stolen from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by those who run the intervention agency. It is so bad that even a mere personal assistant to a former Managing Director was charged for stealing over N3 billion. “
He, therefore, tasked in-coming and returning governors on the need to shun corruption.
He said, “whether we like it or not, corruption and terrorism have become the twin evils, undermining our collective efforts to make Nigeria a truly great country.”
He further stated that Nigeria’s failure to take full advantage of its natural resources could also be attributed to corruption as public office holders are in the habit of constantly pillaging public resources.
Magu observed that the country’s loss to corruption in the last decade runs into trillions of Naira, noting that a review of the recoveries between 2017 and now, shows that in 2017, the EFCC recovered N473.065 billion, $98 million, €7 million and £294,000, while N236.16 billion was recovered in 2018, which give just an insight into what had been stolen so far.