Magu breaks silence, says corruption Nigeria’s greatest challenge

A former Chairman  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has called for a vigourous and holistic approach to the fight against corruption, saying it is a major impediment against the nation’s  collective progress.

Magu spoke Saturday during the conferment of a doctoral fellow on him by the General Yakubu Gowon-led think tank, Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (IGLSA),  at the African University of Science & Technology Abuja.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had, July 10, 2020, approved the suspension of Magu as the acting EFCC chairman.

This followed the allegation of corruption against him by then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Malami had said the suspension was to allow for unhindered inquiry by the former President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Salami- led Presidential Investigation Panel.

However, the report of the panel was not made available to the general public while there was no White Paper arising from the Salami Report even when Buhari had left office in May 29, 2023. 

Speaking on behalf of other awardees, AIG Magu said the bane of corruption is the reason for the lack of adequate and sufficient dividends that come with democracy.

He said: “This recognition is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the collective efforts of the dedicated individuals at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (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.

“I wish to state with a high sense of responsibility that the fight against corruption must be pursued with vigour as corruption remains the impediment against our collective progress as a nation. I urge the government to persevere in 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.”

Continuing amid loud ovation, Magu further added:  “There is a need to encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home and invest, because the government offers incentives that will encourage a conducive business environment.  This development will create economic boost and reduce the incidence of unemployment and curb youth restiveness and JAPA syndrome.

 “As our nation adapts to this new reality, emphasizing 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.”

Some of the dignitaries at the event include Yobe state Deputy Governor Idi Barde Gubana, who represented Governor Mai Mala Buni, who also received a Fellow award from the institute, former Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof Nuhu Yaqub, two legal luminaries: Prof Akinseye George (SAN) and Kayode Ajulo (SAN) as well as Engr. Ibiam Oguejiofor, the National Coordinator Presidential Executive Order 5.


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