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Nigeria Lost N2.9 trn Between 2018 – 2020 To Contract, Procurement Fraud- Olukoyede

Olukoyede, Nigeria lost N2.9 trillion to contract and procurement fraud
Olukoyede, Nigeria lost N2.9 trillion to contract and procurement fraud (Photo: Blueprint Newspaper)

Newly appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, on Wednesday, revealed that Nigeria lost N2.9 trillion to contract and procurement fraud between 2018 and 2020.

Olukoyede made this revelation while fielding questions from Senators, during the screening that led to his confirmation by the apex legislative Chamber at plenary.

He lamented that the money would have been enough to build 1000 kilometers of road, build close to 200 standard tertiary institutions, educate about 6,000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N16 million per child.

The new EFCC boss, however, said that for corruption to be eliminated in the country, there must be a collective decision and collaborative actions by relevant agencies and individuals in positions of authority.

Olukoyede, who was confirmed along side the Secretary of the Commission, Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda, said that as EFCC Chairman, he could investigate even the President of the Senate.

He vowed to ensure accountability, transparency and preventive measures that would eliminate too many litigations in the process of fighting corruption in the country.

Olukoyede stressed that the EFCC under his watch would not hesitate to prosecute any Nigerian irrespective of their socio-political status, including the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.

He called for collective responsibility, saying, “for Nigeria to earn a reputation for transparency and accountability, there must be a collective decision that indeed corruption must be eliminated.

“We must build international reputation in transparency, and as an agency I can investigate even the Senate President, because we must call a spade a spade, we must look at evil and call it evil no matter who is involved.

“We must look at more of the preventive measures than curative, corruption has become too rampant in our society and we will do our work diligently and with respect to the provisions of the constitution.”

He also explained that the Commission under his watch would avoid dublication of roles with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in other to save the country unecessary deployment of funds by the two anti-graft agencies for the same purpose.

He said that the time had come for all anti-corruption agencies to focus more on prevention than enforcement, adding that enforcement was a very strong tool in the hands that must be applied seriously.

Explaining further how corruption could be eliminated, the EFCC Chairman noted that the savings of an average civil servant in Nigeria all through his service years could not build the type of houses they were building and cars they were riding.

He said: “The problem we have is just like the proverbial monkey that was locked up in a cage with a bunch of ripe banana. The owner stood outside with a cane. The monkey would either eat the bananas got beaten and be alive, or allow the bananas to get rotten and die of hunger.

“Everyone wants to live a luxurious life and the incentives are all over the places. I will do more in the areas of blocking the leakages. We spend more money fighting corruption when we could have spent less to prevent it.

“Without downplaying the importance of enforcement. There is what we called transactional credit system. If we continue to allow Nigerians to buy houses, cars and other luxurious properties by cash, because we don’t have an effective credit system, 1000 anti-corruption agencies will not do us any good and that is the reality.

“We must create an atmosphere to make sure that people have choices. If I don’t steal money, can I afford to train my children in school with good standard? If I don’t steal money, can I buy a car after I have worked for five years? If I don’t steal money, can I put three room bungalow in place after I had worked for 20 years? An average Nigerian does not own a home, when he has the opportunity, he would steal. Even if he did not have the opportunity he would create one

“In order to encourage our criminal justice system to work, the substance should be taken above technicalities. We must encourage our criminal justice system to adjudicate in such a way that it will not drag for a very long time. Prosecution should not be allowed to last for maximum of five years from the Court of first instance to the Supreme Court.

“The Senate can work on that very seriously. If we make the administration of criminal justice system really work, you will see the great work the anti-corruption agencies are doing.”

Emphasizing how deeply corruption had ravaged the nation, Olukoyede said, “I did a survey between 2018 and 2020 on fifty entities in Nigeria. Both human and corporate entities. I picked just one scheme, one specie of fraud, which is called contract and procurement fraud. I discovered that within the three years, Nigeria lost N2.9trillion.

“When I put my figures together, I discovered that If the country had prevented the money from being stolen, it would have given us 1000 kilometers of road, it would have built close to 200 standard tertiary institutions. It would have also educated about 6,000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N16m per child.

“It would have also delivered more 20,000 units of three bedroom houses across the country. It would have given us a world-class teaching hospital in each of the 36 states of the country and the federal capital territory.
This is where we are coming from, this is where we are. Where we are going, depends on the decision the Senate would take this afternoon.”

Techrectory with Agency Report.

Techrectory on Google News
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Written by Percy Onyeka

A seasoned Tech/Business Analyst, Digital Media Consultant , Publisher and Entrepreneur with more than a decade experience. Online Editor in Chief-New National Star newspaper and a host of clients...

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