President Muhammadu Buhari today Friday commended the performance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC in securing 2,220 convictions, recovering over N152billion and $285m in one year.
The President who spoke at the unveiling of the EFCC Standard Operating Procedures, Policies, and Manuals, at the State House, Abuja, noted that the documents were in line with his administration’s vision to institutionalize the fight against corruption.
“I am glad to note that the war against corruption, which is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration, is being strengthened through the institutionalization of operational procedures, particularly as they form the building blocks of transparency and accountability in administration and public expenditure,” he said
He advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, especially law Enforcement Agencies which were yet to standardize their processes to emulate the EFCC.
“I would like to use this opportunity to encourage other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, especially Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure the standardization of their processes within the extant laws and regulations as provided in our statutes.”
President Buhari charged the EFCC to avoid being used for partisan politics or get dragged into personal disputes. “I must advise the leadership and operatives of this Commission to resist the temptation of being used for partisan politics or be dragged into personal disputes. Your job is to serve the nation in its efforts to entrench good governance”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa said the unveiling of the 26 Standard Operating Procedures, and 25 Policies and Manuals of the Commission were in fulfillment of the pledge he made at his screening before the National Assembly, to discourage discretion in the work of the Commission by standardizing its processes and procedures.
He explained that with the Policies and Manuals, the Commission now boasts of a unique DNA as all personnel know what is expected of them per time.
He further disclosed that the Policies and Manuals were in tandem with the strategic vision of the Commission as contained in the EFCC Strategic Plan (2021 -2025).
The Plan, according to him, “is anchored on five objectives of increased public engagement, improved systems and processes, intelligence-driven investigation, prosecution and assets recovery, improved law enforcement coordination and collaboration and enhanced institutional and human capacity development”.
“We have in the last one year restructured the Departments and Units of the Commission for improved efficiency. I established a Department of Intelligence to drive my vision for intelligence-led investigation. The Commission designed and launched a crime reporting Application, Eagle Eye, the first of its kind in Nigeria. The App which was launched in July 2021 is now a treasure trove of intelligence for the Commission.
“I have also restructured the Legal and Prosecution Department and the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML. The training arm of the Commission, the EFCC Academy has been renovated and fully primed to deliver its objectives.
Bawa commended the President for approving an enhanced welfare scheme for the Commission and concluded by saying that, “there is nothing wrong with Nigeria that cannot be right, with what is right about Nigeria.”
Among the documents unveiled are Standard Operating Procedure for Departments and Units, Policies On Codes and Standards of Professional Behaviour; Use of Firearms and Ammunition, Orderly Room Trial; Staff Welfare; Document Security and Classification; Health, Safety and Environment; Sexual Harassment and Bullying, Health, Official Correspondence, Information and Communication Technology Acceptable Usage, Official Vehicles and Fleet, among others.