President Bola Tinubu has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to keep its flames burning against the scourge of internet crimes and other acts of corruption.
He gave the charge through Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja on Wednesday at a one-day public engagement on youth, religion, the fight against corruption, and the launch of the Fraud Risk Assessment Project for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, organised by the EFCC.
He noted that the disturbing contagion of cybercrimes has been a challenge and slur on the image of the nation, and the EFCC should spare no effort in tackling it more frontally.
He said, “Our country is not a nation of fraudsters, and the pejorative reference to internet crimes as the ‘Nigerian scam’ across the world is unfair, untenable, and unacceptable. Cybercrimes are a global phenomenon. Today’s world is run in real-time on the internet.
“Governance, businesses, institutions, and even individual domestic affairs are dependent on the Internet. Cybercriminals are, therefore, a threat to the rest of the world. This is why no effort or expense should be spared when confronting evil. I want to assure the EFCC that the government will continue to offer its support in its quest to kill the dragon that internet offences have become, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the President, Shettima further expressed the federal government’s determination to fight corruption hard.
He noted, “We cannot be focused on growth and development and at the same time offer any breathing space to corrupt practices. No nation grows without breaking the fangs of corruption.
The EFCC has been duly instructed to do its job at all times without any extraneous considerations. The Renewed Hope agenda of our government is impervious to corruption. We should all join hands together to move Nigeria in a new direction.
“We are aware of all the foul cries and unwarranted accusations against the lawful efforts of the Commission to bring fraudsters to book. We cannot fold our hands and watch our youths descend into morbid criminalities.”.
In his remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, urged the EFCC to intensify its preventive method, which, according to him, is cheaper and easier to use to prevent crimes.
Fagbemi said, “I believe that concerted efforts should be channelled towards the preventive aspect of the commission’s mandate, as it is cheaper and easier to prevent crimes. The Commission’s mandate goes beyond the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, which it has over the years vigorously pursued. The cost of investigating and prosecuting all species of financial crimes will significantly reduce with adequate preventive measures in place.”
The event, which was marked with the relaunch and unveiling of EFCC’s Interfaith Manuals and Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs, was well-attended by various political, religious, and traditional leaders, including youth groups, academia, civil society organisations, and anti-corruption agencies, among others.
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