The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has called for the establishment of an Integrity Unit in the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) saying such an innovation will be a rallying point for the promotion of transparency and accountability towards achieving its mandate to the nation.
Lamorde made the call on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, during a one-day anti-corruption sensitization road walk organised by the Enlightenment and Re-orientation Unit of the EFCC for heads and members of staff of both organizations.
According to him, the road walk was designed to take the anti-graft campaign to the workplace, and encourage workers to buy–in as the EFCC alone cannot fight and win the war against corruption in Nigeria.
While acknowledging the assistance received from the Customs Service in terms of secondment of its finest staff to the EFCC, early in the life of the Commission, Lamorde said “those officers, I make bold to say, contributed in no small way to whatever modest success that are ascribed to the EFCC, today”.
The EFCC boss underscored the importance of the workshop when he said that the program is in fulfillment of the mandate of the Commission, as stated in Section 6 of the EFCC Act, which required the Commission to, in addition to its enforcement responsibilities, take measures to prevent the commission of economic crimes through aggressive public enlightenment and education.
Lamorde commended the Controller General of the Service, Dikko Inde Abdullahi, for accepting to partner with EFCC to fight corruption which he described as a monster; adding that on the account of the collaboration between the two agencies, many economic saboteurs and other sundry criminals have been stooped in their evil track before they wreck underserved havoc on the nation’s economy.
In his address, the Customs boss, Abdullahi Dikko Inde also commended the chairman of the EFCC “for the worthy partnership to cooperate and spread the message that together we are forging a united stand against corruption. In the past, customs and EFCC collaboration have been a reference point for best practices. Both have worked closely in special joint operations, investigations and training; and we are glad to say that the relationship has extended to frontiers of our collaboration to fight corruption. In synergy, we are sending strong signals to all economic saboteurs that they now face a more difficult task to evade payment of customs duty or smuggling of prohibited goods through our borders”.
The Customs CG said that in embarking on the anti-corruption journey, the Customs Service has prepared its officers for zero tolerance on corruption. He also called on stakeholders and indeed, the generality of Nigerians to support the historic campaign to instill integrity into Customs operation.
The program will feature workshops on financial and economic crimes at the Customs headquarters, Lagos, Kaduna and Port Harcourt Zonal commands of the Service.
The campaign by the EFCC had earlier been extended to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC Ministry of Transport, ACTU, among others.