The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has recovered 12 billion dollars (about N1.8 trillion) from fraudsters in the last eight years.
EFCC’s chairman, Farida Waziri, disclosed this on Wednesday in Lagos in a paper she delivered at the 62nd Anniversary of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
Waziri spoke on the “Fight Against Corruption as a Collective Action”. She noted that the Commission recorded over 600 convictions within same period.
The anti-graft boss said that corruption remained endemic in all countries across the world and that it undermined democratic institutions, slowed down economic development and contributed to instability.
She condemned some traditional, religious and academic institutions that gave honorary titles to people with questionable wealth.
“Nigeria presents a peculiar case of deep-rooted culture of impunity characterized by widespread of corruption,” she said. “This is clear from the palpable and incontrovertible fact that 72 percent of former governors from 1999 to date are currently being prosecuted for different offences bordering on corruption, money laundering and other economic crimes.”
Waziri pointed out that corruption was a difficult and complex challenge. She called for collective efforts, which would go beyond finger pointing in fighting the menace.
“There is an urgent need to accelerate the dynamics of mobilizing people, using platforms like the Lagos Country Club against corruption,” she said. “This is because citizens themselves must rise to take centre stage in creating change. Groups and communities should come forward to take a stand against abuse of public or private office. Initiative for supporting people in this regard can range from public enlightenment activities, basic advice on filling petitions, to strategic litigation and whistle blowing.”
She urged Nigerians to change the erroneous notion that the “national cake” was meant to be shared rather than baked by the people.
The 62nd anniversary lecture, with the theme: “Good Governance: Leadership and Accountability as Imperatives”, has Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, a former External Affairs Minister and Club members in attendance.