Uche Usim, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, revealed that over N1 trillion illicit funds and stolen assets has been recovered from fraudulent Nigerians in the last three and half years.
The Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, made the revelation in Abuja at a workshop on government contract dispute resolution organised by the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
The Acting EFCC boss, who was represented at the event by Dr Enakeno Oju, said the aggression with which the anti-graft agency has traced and recovered stolen assets has retarded the momentum with which public funds are looted.
She said: “This means of fighting corruption has been immensely beneficial to the nation’s economy.
“We cannot pretend not to know that monies are siphoned from the system by corrupt public officials through “ghost projects” in most cases and the man at the centre of this infraction is the contractor. “Through this channel, billions of naira has been looted from the public treasury. The Commission has gotten many convictions from the courts bordering on such cases. These convictions include two ex-governors who are currently serving their jail terms”.
Oju said many developmental promises were made by public office aspirants in the course of political campaigns.
“Now that elections are over, what Nigerians expect is good governance; it is time to deliver on the promises made. These promises are actualised through various projects/contracts. Also, the government does not execute these contracts by itself; the private sector and other government bodies are engaged in executing these contracts for the general development of our country”, she added.
She further said there was to address disputes arising from executing government contracts using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism rather than last enforcement agencies
“The relevance of the ADR cannot be over emphasized. Not every issue has to go to the courtroom because litigation takes time, efforts and a lot of money. When all these happen, the nation will be at the receiving end.