Anti-corruption actors across the country, after long deliberation recently, urged the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to expand the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).
The implementation of the NACS included the two committees, the Interministerial Committee and the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (IMC and M and E, respectively), for another four-year cycle.
The FEC had, on July 5, 2017, chaired by Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), approved the NACS 2017-2021, and subsequently led its implementation.
The policy document requires stakeholder approval at the end of the strategy’s implementation prior to its expansion. The mandate includes cascading implementation across states and local councils.
Stakeholders, who rose from a one-day meeting in Abuja, include representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), civil society organizations, the media, officials from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDA) based their decision on many activities to be carried out by the committees to drive the NACS process.
They also blamed the non-implementation on the nationwide lockdown caused by coronavirus disease in 2020 and lack of funds, which made the strategy not fully executed.
Speaking at the event, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Umar Etsu Mohammed, represented by the Chairman of the Technical Committee on the Implementation of NACS, Hajia Ladidi B. Mohammed, said the first phase of the strategy, which began in 2017, ended on July 5, 2021.
According to him, plans were underway to prepare a draft strategy for the legislative processes.
He suggested that by decision of the stakeholders, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Malami Abubakar (SAN), would send the decision to the FEC for formal approval, informing that there were pillars and thematic areas, including crime prevention, awareness raising, asset recovery and management of the proceeds of crime, and strengthening of legal institutions, which would be considered in the plan of action.
He expressed the need to tackle corruption head-on, urging the public to ignore stories in some newspapers that assets confiscated by the federal government had been disposed of and the proceeds had not been accrued.