*Gowon-led think tank honours former anti-graft chief
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Raheem Akingbolu
A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, weekend called for a vigorous and holistic approach to the fight against corruption in the country, describing it as a major impediment to Nigeria’s collective progress.
He spoke during the conferment of a doctoral fellow on him by the Yakubu Gowon-led think tank, the Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (IGLSA) at the African University of Science & Technology, in Abuja.
Magu, who gave the acceptance speech on behalf of other awardees at the event, said that corruption is the reason for the lack of adequate dividends that come with democracy in the country.
He maintained that if Nigeria eliminates corruption from the system, it will help guarantee the basic provisions that governance offers.
“This recognition is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the collective efforts of the dedicated individuals at the EFCC and all stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
“With the benefit of hindsight and having been at the helm of affairs of the foremost anti-graft agency in Nigeria, I wish to state that fighting corruption is not an easy task.
“It is a patriotic and selfless service to one’s fatherland. This is because corruption is pervasive and for an agency to tackle this monster headlong, all hands must be on deck,” he noted.
The former anti-graft chief stressed that the fight against corruption must be pursued with vigour as “corruption remains the impediment against Nigeria’s collective progress as a nation.”
He urged the government to persevere in what he described as the relentless fight against corruption, as a corruption-free nation is the bedrock for sustainable economic growth and positive development.
“Let us work hand-in-hand to break free from the vicious grip of corruption and pave the way for a brighter future for Nigeria.
“Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources. As a matter of fact, our solid minerals in all the 36 states can fetch the country enough revenue to sustain governance and provide basic amenities for all Nigerians,” he added.
According to him, there is a need to encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home and invest, with the government offering incentives that will encourage a conducive business environment.
This development, he said, will create economic prosperity and reduce the incidence of unemployment as well as curb youth restiveness and the ‘Japa’ syndrome.
“As our nation adapts to this new reality, emphasising infrastructure development becomes fundamental to our economic growth.
“Investments in key sectors like transportation, energy, and telecommunications not only enhance internal connectivity but also boost Nigeria’s appeal for foreign investments. This contributes to a more resilient and diversified economy, generating employment and fostering sustainable development.
“Creating a conducive business environment is crucial for any economic prosperity. So, we must simplify bureaucratic processes, by promoting ease of doing business and supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to empower local businesses. This will encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.
“A secure environment is vital for sustained economic growth. Strengthening law enforcement, enhancing intelligence gathering, and promoting community policing are essential in addressing security challenges,” Magu stated.
Other dignitaries at the event included: the Deputy Governor of Yobe State, Idi Gubana, who represented the Governor of the state , Mai Mala Buni.
Also in attendance were a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Nuhu Yaqub, two legal luminaries: Prof Akinseye George (SAN) and Kayode Ajulo (SAN) as well as the National Coordinator, Strategy Implementation Task Office, Presidential Executive Order 5, Ibiam Oguejiofor.