The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has called on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the South-South, to brace up in monitoring the integrity and execution of contracts by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He made the call on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at an interactive meeting with leaders of Civil Society Groups in Rivers and Bayelsa States. According to Magu, the only modality of fighting the evils of abandonment and poor contract execution of contracts is to be involved in thier monitoring. “We must monitor how contracts are being given and how they are executed to ensure transparency and accountability. Also, 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 in 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”, he said.
The EFCC boss also charged the leaders that they should be ready to serve as a bridge between the Commission and the larger public. He decried the rising rate of poverty within the South-South, noting that money meant for the development of the region is not being accounted for. He, therefore, urged the CSOs to work towards ending corruption in the region by sensitizing youths and other interest groups about the evils of corrupt practices. “Teach the younger once to imbibe self discipline. Teach them to avoid the wrong thing’’, he said.
For the Civil Society Groups to rise to the new responsibilities thrust on them, Magu admonished them to be committed, properly-involved and courageous. . “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 National Director, Coalition of NGOs Against Corruption, Comrade.Haris Chuma, commended the EFCC on behalf of the CSOs. He noted that the fight against corrupt practices have stepped up since Magu came in and promised that the group will show more commitments and responsibilities 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.
The Zonal Head of Operations, Port Harcourt, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, thanked the CSOs for their time with the Acting Chairman of the Commission. He said that the Chairman remained committed to the fight against corruption and assured them of cooperation at all times. (EFCC)