Contracts, procurement frauds cost Nigeria N2.9trn in 3 years — Olukoyede, new EFCC boss

The Senate yesterday confirmed Ola Olukoyede as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The appointment of Muhammad Hammajoda as secretary of the anti-graft agency was also confirmed.

The confirmation of both men followed their screening by the upper chamber, about a week after they were appointed by President Bola Tinubu.

Responding to questions from senators before the confirmation, Olukoyede said tax payers lost N2.9trillion in just two years (2018 -2020)  to contracts and procurement fraud alone.

He said: “Between 2018 and 2020, Nigeria lost N2.9trilion to contract and procurement fraud.”

The amount, he noted, was enough to pay for the construction of at least 1,000 kilometres of roads, build close to 200 standard tertiary institutions, and educate about 6,000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N16million per child.

Giving clarifications as to the investigative powers of the commission, the newly confirmed EFCC boss declared   that as EFCC chairman, he was at liberty to investigate even the President of the Senate.

He, however, promised not to abuse power, while vowing to be accountable to the Nigerian people as well as ensure transparency and taking preventive measures to reduce, if not eliminate long-drawn litigations.

Olukoyede said the EFCC under his watch, will not hesitate to prosecute any offender, irrespective of social or political status.

While appealing for support from all and sundry, he said:  “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 said the EFCC under his watch will work with sister agencies, such as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, to avoid duplication and waste of scarce public funds.

According to him, there is no better time than now for all anti-graft agencies to shun rivalries and focus on preventing crime more than enforcement.

Addressing the issue of corruption in public service, the EFCC chairman noted that the kind of mansions being built by some civil servants could not be said to be the product of some prudent savings.

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, get beaten and be alive, or allow the bananas to get rotten and die of hunger.



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