Fred Itua, Abuja
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said the National Assembly will provide the necessary support to the anti-corruption agencies in the fight against corruption.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are the leading government agencies in anti-corruption war.
“The ninth Senate and indeed the National Assembly is set to support the anti-corruption agencies to the best of its ability, to enable us eradicate the malaise,” Lawan said.
He gave the assurance in Abuja while declaring open the third EFCC National Capacity Building Workshop for Justices and Judges in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
“What we face today in the area of corruption requires that all hands must be on deck to fight it. And we are determined to work with other arms of government to fight it.
“It is a fight that should be fought by all and we are ready to initiate moves that will help in ensuring we succeed in the fight.
“We are also continuously prepared to support agencies like the EFCC and professionals like the Justices and Judges always,” Lawan said.
He noted that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of “our society” and has literarily become endemic.
He acknowledged that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot in the last couple of years in fighting corruption but added that the fight has surely not been an easy one.
“Dealing with corruption is surely a task we must undertake very well. The consistency of the EFCC on its mandate is quite commendable.
“The best we can continue to do in our circumstance is to encourage anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC and the ICPC discharge their mandate very well.
“The police are also inclusive because of their statutory responsibility of enforcing law and order, by preventing and detecting crime,” Lawan added.
He said the justices and Judges need all the ethical, moral and institutional support to be exemplary in the discharge of their duties.
He advocated for a review of the basic school curricula to include the teaching of anti-corruption tenets.
“I believe that we should look at our civic education. We shouldn’t wait until people commit corruption before we start chasing them.
“We should start educating our children in schools, basic education secondary level and even tertiary level, on the ills of corruption in any society.
“Therefore, it is a task that requires that we review the current curricula of our basic education particularly to include something like what corruption means, the ills and the responsibility on every citizen to be part and parcel of the fight against this scourge,” Lawan said.
Meanwhile, Senators, yesterday, queried N600 million padding, reportedly allocated to Distribution Companies (DISCOs) by Ministry of Power in the 2020 budget which had been privatised.
Chairman of the committee, Gabriel Suswan, who expressed dissatisfaction with Tyne allocation of N600 million to privatised companies, wondered how government will still be budgeting money in an already privatized company.
Susuwan, while reacting to the presentations of the Power Ministry of Power, said President Muhammadu Buhari is working hard for stabilise power supply in the country, but lamented that some of his lieutenants were working against it because of money.
A member of the Committee, Yususf Yusuf, also expressed dissatisfaction with the allocation of such money to DISCOs when Mambila Power project is not yet implemented.
Yusuf, who is from Taraba State, demanded speedy execution of Mambila power project which has been on for the past 20 years.
Responding to the budget of N600 million to DISCOs, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Power, Louis Edozien, justified the inclusion of the money in the 2020 budget for privatised companies.