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|Us Okays Farida Waziri’s Sack by ceomike(m): 12:13am On Dec 09, 2011|
UNITED States of America government has expressed satisfaction with the change of leadership at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC.)
President Goodluck Jonathan recently sacked the former EFCC boss, Mrs Farida Waziri, from office and appointed Ibrahim Lamorde in her place.
Reacting to the change of guard at the anti-graft commission and in an editorial to commemorate International Anti-corruption Day, which was made available to journalists in Abuja, the US ambassador to Nigeria, Terence McCulley, insisted that Nigeria must effectively address corruption as a way to foster the stability, security and prosperity of its citizens.
He applauded what he described as willingness of President Jonathan to seek a strong candidate to lead the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Stating, “I applaud President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent move to change the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and his willingness to seek a strong candidate to lead the ICPC,” the envoy maintained that the US government was ready to help build the institutions to address corruption effectively and make impunity a thing of the past.
He observed that corruption harmed the citizens of all nations in varying degrees and noted that all governments and their citizens, therefore, must remain vigilant to root out, punish, and deter corruption.
He said, “In Nigeria, for example, corruption diverts financial resources from building roads, hospitals, schools, and otherwise investing in infrastructure that would serve businesses, attract foreign investment, and create jobs. Corruption also acts as a disincentive for foreign investment. As a result, a large number of unemployed youths turn to other activities to stay active and make money, including criminal activities such as internet fraud, arms and other trafficking, and terrorist activity.”
In his words: “So, even when the proceeds of corruption do not go directly to criminal and terrorist organisations, corruption still serves to promote criminal and terrorist activity by creating barriers to legitimate economic endeavours.”
According to McCulley, “Addressing corruption remains key to combating emerging transnational criminal threats. In many countries, criminals and other illicit actors subvert and undermine state functions and transform some official institutions into de-facto criminal enterprises.
“Government protection of criminal elements can take many forms — officials may ‘turn a blind eye’ to a syndicate’s illicit activity, choose not to pursue investigative leads, opt not to enact or enforce certain criminal laws, or ignore the efforts of others to extradite wanted criminals.
“In some cases, corrupt officials may actively work for criminal organisations — supplying them with information or providing other services. In the worst cases, governments may effectively cede power and authority to criminal groups, allowing them to form their own territories and power networks,” he added.
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