Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption agency the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) which was established in 2003 by former president of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to investigate corrupt practices of public holders and financial crimes like money laundering and advance fee fraud as a response to the international pressure from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which named Nigeria as one of 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community’s efforts to fight money laundering.
But apart from fighting corrupt practices of the politicians that has been endangering the future of the nation and its youth, the commission has taken an extra serious approach towards curbing the scourge of internet scam which some of the endangered Nigerian youths involve in as a survival strategy forgetting the damage its wrecking on the nations international image.
The Commission has been approached by Director General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) , Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim for collaboration and partnership of the two agencies in fighting corruption in the educational sector as it has been revealed that some institutions are selling academic certificates to unqualified individuals as has been uncovered in recent times from some tertiary institutions in Cotonou Benin Republic recently presented to NYSC for mobilization people who are perceived to not have passed through the four walls of a university as graduates for NYSC mobilization a very unfortunate incident
The new call for pact between NYSC and EFCC have also influenced the anti corruption agency to intensify its financial crime prevention strategy by engaging the Nigerian youths undergoing the NYSC program on the need to stay off crime, this has created a blueprint of regular visit to the Camp on sensitization mission because (NYSC) Camps is a unique place where fresh graduates from the Nigerian universities are pooled together from different regions in the country to a state and participate in their compulsory one year service to the nation, thereby enhancing the harmonic co existence of the youths by strengthening their collective psyche and intra-cultural understanding of each other’s diverse socio-religious and cultural backgrounds.
EFCC is not relenting in taking this chance to advice the youths and warn them to shun corruption , cybercrime , other forms of criminality and the dangers inherent in their practice, as they as corps are also under watch because they are not immune from the penalties of any law of the land that they are found culpability in its breaking ,because they will be prosecuted in accordance with the law and be punished appropriately ,so instead of crime they should rather strive to be change agents in their places of primary assignments.
‘Stay Off Crime or be caught’ was the leading theme in the messages by officials of the Commission that visited members of the Batch C Stream of the National Youth Service Corps at the various orientation camps across the country on 12th November 2019, an exercise that they promised is going to be more frequent and will act as their response to the request to NYSC Director General’s demand for their partnership with the NYSC program as it will them in checkmate the activities of unpatriotic citizens, who brings shame to the nation by their un-satisfiable desire to make money at all cost, including sale of academic qualifications to unqualified graduates .
The anti corruption agency is already exploiting the opportunity that the orientation camps spread throughout the length and breadth of the nation presents as a unique place for collective sensitization of the youths on the need to imbibe stronger morals as anti corruption agents that will boost their transparency and accountability skill in contributing to the growth of the nation. since most digital based economic crimes, especially Advance Fee Fraud is committed by young people, this has created the need to beam searchlights on all their activities regardless of their position to accelerate the commissions progress in the fight against the crime.
The EFCC National Tour To NYSC Camps In November 2019
The Board and Staff of EFCC embarked on national visit to NYSC camps all over the nation from Kano to Gombe, Lagos to Enugu, Kaduna to Port-harcourt and are highly impressed with socio-psychological output of the first phase of their national sensitization tour which they embarked to the NYSC orientation camps nationwide last November , a practice that they have now enforced as part of their line of operations in their campaign towards eradicating financial crime and corruption in the entire nation
In Port Harcourt , Dele Oyewale, the zonal public affairs officer while addressing corps members at the NYSC’s Orientation Camp in Nowa- Gbam, Rivers State, expressed regrets that corruption had become a cankerworm and festering sore on the soul of the nation and stressed that all hands must be on deck to checkmate it. ” We can see the deleterious effects of corrupt practices in every strata of our society. Corruption is worse than cancer. It is worse than a shooting war. Youths of our nation are worse hit because getting along in a corrupt nation is quite tasking. This is why the EFCC is working round the clock to confront the menace. On this score, we must all come together to tackle the monster. I urge all of you to be ready to offer your best shots in fighting corrupt practices. Be ready to be role models and change agents. Let the anti- corruption fight begin with you. You cannot fight corruption if you are also a problem to be solved”, he said. “During your service year, we advise you to desist from any act of corruption that can bring shame to your family and to the institution you graduated from”, he said.
In Gombe, PDS Wakilu Omokide, Head, Extractive Industry Fraud Section, (EIFS) charged the youths corps member to shun cyber crime and avoid the get rich at all cost syndrome. He urge them to be good role models and avoid all forms of criminality especially Internet fraud so they won’t end up in jail.
In Kano, Farouk Dogondaj, Head, Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section, Farouk Dogondaji who addressed the corps members at the permanent orientation camp, Kusalla Dam, Karaye, expressed the Commission’s willingness to continue to engage youth and civil society groups, in its bid to achieve public ownership of the fight against corruption.
In Lagos, Dolapo Adeniran of the Public Affairs Directorate, Lagos zonal Office, admonished the corps members to embrace the values of hard work, integrity and discipline, which she said can assure them a decent future.
According to her, the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow, should desist from any act of corruption, internet fraud and other criminal activities and join the EFCC in the fight against corruption. “We can only achieve a corrupt-free society when all stakeholders embrace this important fight, and one critical stakeholder are the youths”, she said.
The EFCC now apart from raiding university campus hostels in search of perpetrators of cyber crime which some section of the public has condemned as an act of extremity has taken their campaign steps further by initiating this new strategy of periodical visit to orientation camps to admonish the corps members to be good example in character and conduct in their area of primary assignment and to expose any acts that fail the simple test of integrity in their communities.
Having recognised that re-orientation and schooling the youths on the dangers of crime are key to winning the fight against corruption, hence there is need for regular engagements with various stakeholders, especially impressionable young minds in ensuring a successful campaign against corruption , an action that is believed to be very pivotal in recording a new feat against the accelerating scourge of cyber and financial crimes in the shortest time possible.