The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has called for the involvement of civil society organisations, CSOs, in Nigeria’s South-south in monitoring of the integrity and execution of contracts by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Mr. Magu, at an interactive meeting on Monday in Port Harcourt with leaders of CSOs in Rivers and Bayelsa states, said the only way they could help check poor contract execution and abandonment within the region was to get involved in contract monitoring.
“We must monitor how contracts are being given and how they are executed to ensure transparency and accountability,” the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, quoted Mr. Magu as saying in the meeting.
“Civil society groups are needed to work with the EFCC in ensuring that right things are done, not only in respect of contract issues but also on all other issues.
“Let people do the right thing within the South-south. If people do the right thing it is for the benefit of the people of Niger Delta,” said Mr Magu.
The EFCC acting chairman denounced what he described as the rising rate of poverty in the region.
He said that money meant for the development of the region has not been accounted for and, therefore, urged the CSOs to work towards ending corruption in the region by sensitising the youth and other interest groups on the evils of corrupt practices.
“Teach the younger once to imbibe self-discipline. Teach them to avoid the wrong thing,” he said.
“We are coming together to adopt a common strategy, be committed and properly involved.
“You need patience, perseverance and courage. They will fight you because corruption always fights back but they cannot overcome you because you are doing the right thing,” he said.
The EFCC chief also charged the CSOs to be ready to serve as a bridge between the commission and the larger public.
The National Director, Coalition of NGOs Against Corruption, Haris Chuma, who spoke on behalf of the CSOs, commended the EFCC on its successes in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Chuma said that the fight against corrupt practices has stepped up since Mr Magu assumed office as EFCC chief.
He promised that the group would be committed in the new roles offered them by the EFCC.
“We are willing and ready to work with the commission to bring corruption to an end,” he said.