Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Ngozi James

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has condemned the 2021 US report on corruption in Nigeria, saying its not a reflection of reality.

The  US had in its report, titled, ‘2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Nigeria,’ said the two agencies, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), only target low and middle level officials suspected of corruption.

But chairman, PACAC Itse Sagay in a statement on Wednesday said the report relied on perception, media sensationalism, political storyline and secondary data; and failed in number of respects.

“Firstly, the Report acknowledges the huge efforts of the EFCC and ICPC but held that the duo are ignoring high profile looters. The Report fails to note that it is these internet fraud boys and their ilk that mature into local and international oligarchs. So, nipping it in the bud should be a plus not a minus,” the statement read.

“In any case are Abba Kyari, Hushpuppi, Mompa, the Ex-Registrar of JAMB, Senior civil servants whose illegal properties have been seized, former National Assembly members like Faruq Lawan actually in jail, former Bank PHB Executive, former Governors,  Deziani Alison Madueke former Minister of Petroleum Resources etc not high profile? Moreover, all the recovered assets from outside, Nigeria now about 1 billion dollars belonged to high profile looters,” it added.

The chairman stressed that it is counter intuitive to suggest that lower and middle class looters should be ignored since high profile looters are not arrested.

He further stated thatthe report failed to  safeguards like IPPIS, BVN, TSA, Transparency Portal, Whistleblowing Policy, better Banking regulations, assets declaration, etc that have “remarkably reduced corruption in Nigeria.”

Sagay pointed out that while fighting corruption is a top priority by the current administration,  its successful execution under civilian rule poses a challenge.  “Currently, while a lot of success has been recorded,  more can be achieved in the fight against corruption if there is coordination, collaboration and cooperation by all stakeholders, ” he urged.

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