Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Mrs. Gloria Akobundu, has said that NEPAD is brainstorming on new strategies to tackle corruption in Africa.
Akobundu said the initiative was to complement the African Union’s endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari as the champion of anti-corruption for the African continent in the year 2018.
Recall that President Buhari was endorsed during the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa in July, 2017, as the champion of the Union’s theme for 2018 titled “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
Speaking during a high level consultative meeting with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) continental secretariat on anti-corruption held in Abuja, Akobundu said the forum seeks to elicit sustainable strategies for tackling corruption.
She noted that corruption has deprived the African continent of its livelihood and commonwealth.
Akobundu further said that corruption hindered development in Africa for decades, adding that the forum would identify the various sectors challenges on corruption in Africa, including ways to improve on the management of corrupt practices.
In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, said that tackling corruption remains the surest path to the sustainable development in Africa.
Magu added that corruption had been identified as the major reason for under-development on the continent of Africa.
“It is quite clear that most of the problems confronting Africa are directly or indirectly linked to corruption. It is therefore imperative that countries must close ranks to defeat this monster.
“We must as a matter of urgency address the leakages in our economies, especially the vexed issue of illicit financial flows. This meeting should serve as an avenue for stocktaking,” Magu said.
Magu said the forum must think through new strategies to recalibrate assets tracing and recovery and also devise new strategies to address new and emerging challenges in the fight against corruption.
Magu said that EFCC has recorded significant milestone and enviable records in the fight against corruption, even as he said that there was need for more peer review among African countries.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said corruption was largely responsible for Africa’s current dismal and underdevelopment.
He noted that efforts were previously made at the continental level to address corruption with the AU Convention on Prevention and Combating of Corruption in 2003.
Owasanoye said as at today, six of Africa’s 55 countries are yet to sign, while 14 of the countries that signed have not ratified.
He further said that signatories stand at 49 and ratifications at 38 countries.
Owasanoye however said that many of the countries that signed and ratified the agreement have failed to domesticate the principles of the convention, thus rendering impotent, the import and impact of the convention.