By Oladapo Okeowo
The current efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the recovery of looted funds is central to the economic revival of the nation. The recession currently being faced would be phased out in three months if the looted funds are recovered and put to use.
This was stated by the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, in an interview conducted by Arise TV.
He said the reason for the recession is primarily the corrupt practices of elected and appointed officers.
This, according to Magu, is because funds required for the creation of wealth and the provision of basic socio-economic facilities like security, and infrastructure have been misappropriated and diverted into private coffers.
He opined that if the government can have at its disposal the “hidden wealth”, Nigeria would not “stay more than three months in this recession.”
He said: “I maintain that the economic recession is caused by corruption.
“About 90 percent of the causes of recession is corruption because there was fund and people stole the funds and kept them where they cannot be reached.
“If we can lay hands on this hidden wealth, we won’t stay for more than three months in this recession. It is sufficient for us to get out of economic recession,” he added.
On the issue of amnesty for looters, he said that is not the purview of the EFCC. The EFCC is created to look for and go after economic and financial crimes. The persecution and granting of amnesty is the preserve of the FG.
In an allusion to the whistle-blower policy of the FG, he enjoined Nigerians to aid the agency in its efforts to recover looted monies and also significantly reduce cases of corruption in the country. He asked that people should come forward with information they believe would aid the agency in its fight against corruption.
He said emphasis now is on looted funds and people should come out and give us full disclosure, we would go after it.
“Everybody must join in the fight against corruption. It’s very necessary for the future of this country, for a better tomorrow.”