By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief)
The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa Thursday June 17, 2021, updated the media on the reforms and reorganization currently going on at the EFCC.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja against the background of his 100 Days in office as Chairman, the EFCC boss disclosed that quite a lot has been accomplished in the process of actualizing some of the promises he made to Nigerians during his confirmation by the Senate.
According to him, the milestones recorded so far include the restructuring of the Commission for improved performance with the establishment of a new directorate as well as the reorganization and upgrade of a couple of others. He said in line with his vision to run an agency that is driven by intelligence, a Directorate of Intelligence had been created, which impact is already being felt through the provision of intelligence that led to a major recovery.
In terms of the improvement of processes, he revealed that he Commission has commenced the codification of Standard Operating Procedures for all Units and Departments. The measure, he said, will remove discretion from the work of the Commission. Reiterating a point he made before the Senate, the EFCC boss said he envisions a Commission where he, as Executive Chairman, will give instruction to an officer and he would say, ‘sorry sir, I cannot carry out your directive because it conflicts with the rule’.
“I want an institution that works with rules and regulations…we will launch the SOPs soon and the EFCC can run on auto pilot”, he said.
Other measures already rolled out by the Commission, the EFCC boss said, include development of policies on Document Classification, Healthcare, Sexual Harassment and Bullying, Staff Welfare, Training, Communication, New Staff Ranking, Use of Firearms and Retirement, among others.
He also disclosed that the Commission had taken steps to improve its operational capabilities through the modification of Assets Declaration forms in line with the Commission’s enabling laws.
He also disclosed strategies to prevent corruption through fraud risk assessment for MDAs, monitoring of procurement process and extensive public enlightenment, including the resuscitation of the interfaith dialogue. The platform which was launched in 2014 as avenue for Muslims and Christian to be sensitized on corruption through a teaching and preaching manual, is being revived. The teaching manuals, he said, are being reviewed and will be launched soon.
Other measures to prevent corruption, according to the EFCC boss, include the development of a Property Ownership Database with the ultimate objective of determining the beneficial owners of properties. Additionally, he disclosed that the Commission was developing an App which will facilitate the seamless reporting of complaints to the agency by citizens eager to assist the fight against corruption. The App, he said, will soon be launched.
Bawa said the Commission in the last 100 days has strengthened its partnership with local and international partners, fully conscious of the fact that it cannot fight corruption alone. He further provided updates on the recoveries recorded over the past three months as well as the record of arrest in cybercrime cases.
According to him, 1502 suspects were arrested for internet fraud between January and June 11, 2021, adding that the Commission plans to file 800 cases in court in the coming weeks.
Expressing worry about youth involvement in internet fraud, Bawa said the Commission was working with stakeholders to discourage them and appealed to the media to assist in sensitizing the youths against cybercrime. NNL.