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By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief)

International partners of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have joined the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to unveil the Commission's Strategic Plan (2021-2025) which is targeted at improving its performance.

The Plan which is designed in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017 – 2021 and anchored on five pillars - Prevention, Public Engagement, Ethical Re-Orientation, Enforcement and Sanctions, Recovery and Management of Proceeds of Crime- is aimed at sustaining the EFCC’s commitment to continuous improvement to attain its vision.

The EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, in his opening address, said the Commission recognizes the importance of partnership with the public in achieving its mandate. “This is demonstrated in our commitment to continuous improvement and strengthening cooperation with all stakeholders consistent with objective 4 of the Strategic Plan”.

According to him, the new Plan prioritizes prevention as a cheaper and more efficient tool against economic and financial crimes than enforcement. The Plan also places a significant premium on intelligence-driven investigation, prosecution, and asset recovery while upholding high ethical standards in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate.

“Effective implementation of this Plan shall improve operational efficiency in the Commission and ensure that we continue to aspire to our vision of a Nigeria free of economic and financial crimes,” he said.

Bawa appreciated the partners (US Embassy, INL, FBI, BHC, NCA, FCDO, German BKA, and UNODC). “The support and encouragement have been tremendous. We sincerely appreciate your presence and thank you for finding time today to be part of our effort of making this country a better place and for our overall mutual interest”.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari vigorously commended the EFCC Chairman for his innovation and visionary leadership style which he said has impacted the Commission in about six months of his taking over.

“Exactly six months and 24 days today, the Senate did the needful and confirmed the appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC Chairman. Seeing your 100 days record, I was overwhelmed by your achievements. This launch today, therefore, gives hope that under your leadership, much surely shall be achieved in the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria”, Kwari said

Representatives of European Delegation to Nigeria, Clement Boutillier ; Andrew Clowes of the British High Commission; Country Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Oliver Stolpe and National Coordinator, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, (ROLAC), Danladi Plang respectively promised to continue to partner with the EFCC especially under the visionary leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa.

According to Boutillier, the fight against economic and financial crimes is a major part of the EU's agenda. “Since 2005, we have been involved and would continue to be involved in the corruption fight in Nigeria”.

To Stople, “the Strategic Plan is an envy to not only law enforcement agencies in Nigeria but the world at large”.

Plant, however, said that ROLAC has picked some of the action plans to work with. “We should be able to meet in a year today to review and of course celebrate. EFCC is in a good hand, especially, having come from within”, said.

Others who graced the event were: the Director, International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs Office (INL), Mr. James Jewett; the Legal Attache, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Mr. Uche Ahamdi, and the Liaison Officers, National Crimes Agency (NCA) Mr. Jon King

The European Union funded the production of the Strategic Plan while the British Council, through the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) program, offered technical support from the review to the production of the plan. NNL.

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