Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has said it is cheaper to prevent corruption than to fight it.
Mr Magu said this on Thursday during the Anti-Corruption Sensitisation Programme organised for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and Aviation Sector Workers Abuja.
He said that section six of the EFCC Act requires the commission to, in addition to its enforcement responsibilities, take measures to prevent economic and financial crimes.
Mr Magu explained that part of such preventive measures was an aggressive sensitisation campaign, public enlightenment and education in both public and private sectors.
The essence, according to him, is to improve workplace consciousness of corruption and its corrosive effects and encourage workers to embrace them.
“The EFCC alone couldn’t fight and win the war against corruption in Nigeria. I would like to seize this opportunity to remind us that, corruption affects all of us.
“We must resolve to fight it to a standstill in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to us that, if we don`t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
“We must not allow that to happen, for the sake of our children and the unborn generation,’’ he said.
The EFCC boss said the airport, as the most important gateway into the country, was strategic in many ways.
He said that since airport was foreigners’ first contact with Nigeria, the impression they formed about the country would be largely informed by the conduct of aviation professionals.
According to Magu, this is why the conduct of aviation professionals is key to the efforts at national rebirth, especially the critical economic mandate of attracting foreign direct investment into the economy.
He enjoined aviation workers to erase practices, attitudes and behaviours that could cast a slur on the nation’s reputation, thereby making Nigeria an unattractive destination for both tourists and investors.
The EFCC boss called on the management of FAAN to put screening and monitoring systems in place to ensure that airport staff delivered service to the best international practices.
“As things stand, except we delude ourselves, we cannot deny that the twin evil of corruption and poor infrastructure have blighted our aviation industry.
“Our presence here today is to bring the message of anti-corruption to the management and staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and other aviation workers.
“In recent times, many cases of corruption have been reported in the sector, ranging from misuse of funds, bribery, extortion to abuse of authority by officials at the airports.
“The implication of this is the compelling need to strengthen our key integrity systems by consciously eliminating practices that promote corrupt tendencies in the public sectors.
“It is gratifying that FAAN has inaugurated its Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit, ACTU, to ensure transparency, accountability and good ethical practices,’’ he said.
Mr Magu, while commending the management of FAAN for the steps taken to prevent corruption, also advised the staff to familiarise themselves with the EFCC Act and other laws affecting their duties.
He said that the Commission was determined more than ever before to rid all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of all forms of fraudulent activities.
According to him, FAAN in collaboration with the EFCC can fight corruption effectively.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, commended EFCC for the initiative to take anti-corruption campaign to the airport, saying that the airport was the best choice.
Mr Dunoma said that FAAN was determined to collaborate with EFCC in the fight against corruption especially in the aviation sector.
He also called on the agency to sustain the sensitisation campaign by ensuring that all the airports in the country were covered as well as training of intelligence unit of aviation security on anti-corruption.
Mr Dunoma urged the participants to pay attention to the presentation by the EFCC to help equip them to support actively in the fight against corruption.