THE President of the Nigerian senate, Ahmed Lawan, has advocated for an anti-corruption law to stop illicit financial flows funding insecurity in Nigeria.
Lawan said the fight against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria required the cooperation and support of all the citizens and not institutions of government alone.
He spoke while declaring open a national policy dialogue on corruption and insecurity in Nigeria organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Friday, September 9, 2022.
“The National Assembly, while looking into the possibility of unmasking the perpetrators of insecurity in Nigeria, realised the need for an anti-corruption law to stop illicit financial flows suspected to be funding routes for insecurity in Nigeria.
“The 8th Assembly passed the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill, which is one of the major anti-corruption laws that saved the country from being expelled from the global body of the Egmont Group,” he said.
The Senate president noted that corruption had contributed to the underdevelopment of Nigeria and efforts must be made to curb it.
“While we fight corruption, we should work hard to prevent it. We are in this all, and the success in curbing corruption can only be achieved when all of us are in the fight,” he added.
He also identified the collapse of the local government system as a serious concern to security.
Lawan urged the Nigerian security agencies to improve their efforts on successes achieved in fighting insecurity.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lucky Irabor, attributed insecurity to corruption and assured of the Armed Forces’ support in tackling it.
Irabor called on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations to join the anti-corruption crusade through the enlightenment of Nigerians on the effects of corruption on development.
In his opening remarks at the dialogue, the chairman of the ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, called for proactive prevention measures and a review of extant procurement practices to achieve tremendous success in the fight against corruption and, by extension, insecurity in Nigeria.
Owasanoye gave examples of how massive corruption was fuelling insecurity in Nigeria.
He said the policy dialogue aimed at identifying the drivers of corruption-induced and corruption-enhanced insecurity in Nigeria.
“The Policy dialogue was aimed at identifying internal mechanisms within agencies that can enhance capacity for fighting corruption, and system-wide approaches for institutionalising anti-corruption and corruption prevention measures; and to recommend approaches for tackling corruption-induced insecurity in Nigeria,” he said.
Owasonoye noted that corruption was a major contributory factor to the existence of insecurity in Nigeria.
Other stakeholders at the event included the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; and a representative of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
The dialogue brought together key actors and stakeholders in Nigeria’s security sector, political office, public service, traditional institutions and civil society organisations to brainstorm on the impact of corruption on insecurity.