The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has re-affirmed the commitment of the EFCC to continue to combat the menace of corrupt practices in the country. He stated this at the opening ceremony of a five-nation Youth Integrity Camp in Lagos.
Lamorde, who was represented by Mr. Bolaji Salami, Director of Organisational Support of the EFCC, said the EFCC will not relent in its efforts to rid Nigeria of economic and financial crimes. He also reiterated the readiness of the EFCC to forge stronger collaboration with other stakeholders in the anti-graft war in a bid to free the nation of the scourge of corrupt practices. According to him, “corruption has become a cankerworm that is eating up the nation and so all hands must be on deck to check the menace”.
The camping program, a week-long event, was organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youth Development (Nigeria), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Youngsters Foundation and the Centre for Public Policy and Research (CPPR). The program, entitled: “Anglophone West -Africa Youth Integrity Camp” drew participants from Nigeria; Ghana; Liberia; Gambia and Sierra-Leone. The program is an anti-corruption sensitization and mobilization effort aimed at engaging youths as stakeholders in the fight against graft. .
According to the ICPC, the camping initiative is geared towards increasing “awareness on anti-corruption issues for a more focused and proactive youth development in the fight against corruption”. It is also aimed at establishing “a network of youth leaders who are empowered and motivated to use their dynamism and innovative minds to fight corruption; demand transparency and accountability; promote integrity and are able to work with others to achieve set goals”
In his welcome address, Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola represented by Toba Otunsanya, Director General, Transformation, Lagos State, charged the youth to imbibe the culture of integrity in their daily deeds. He added that they should strive to set good examples for the generation to come. The Gambian Deputy High Commissioner, Gen. Ebrima Bath rtd., who represented the High Commissioner of The Gambia to Nigeria, said the union of the youth of Anglophone countries to fight corruption and corrupt leadership cannot be accomplished without patriotism, focus and commitment guided by the established laws and regulations of the respective countries. He also noted that the coming together of the youth from different countries would spur bi-lateral and multi-lateral relationships with the aim of fostering the integrity of socio- political institutions in the respective countries.
Other stakeholders at the opening ceremony include: the ICPC Chairman, Bar. Ekpo Ita, Marc Lepage of United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Marie –Ange Kalenga of Transparency International, TI, Felicia Vou Bot of the EFCC’s Enlightenment and Orientation Unit and Mrs R.A Okoduwa of the ICPC.