Chris Steven, Abuja
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the Federal Government is working assiduously to introduce a harmonized national strategy document to ease its fight against corruption and corrupt practices in the country.
Malami however, lamented that corruption undermines economic growth, political stability, social development and the rule of law.
He stated this in his opening remarks at a one-day Stakeholders Consultative meeting on Harmonization of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy Document held in Abuja.
The Attorney General also observed that corruption foists disruption of social order and destroys public trust in the governance system of the nation.
In a press statement issued his by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Minister emphasized that the essence of the meeting was to harmonize the three working documents earlier developed by interest groups.
He affirmed that the present Administration is winning the war on corruption, while expressing optimism that the three working documents on anti-corruption would be subsumed into one stronger document by the stakeholders meeting.
The AGF who was represented by the Solicitor General for the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Taiwo Abidogun said: “It is my hope that this consultative meeting of stakeholders will produce one harmonized National Strategy Document on Anti-Corruption to fight the menace of corruption.”
He unveiled the working documents to include: (a) Nigeria Anti-Corruption Strategy; authored by Federal Ministry of Justice (b) National Anti-Corruption Action Plan, prepared by the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption. (c) National Strategy to Combat Corruption produced by the Inter agency Task Team”.
He also reiterated that, “one of the cardinal objectives of the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR was to fight corruption in all its manifestations including adopting effective preventive measures against corruption, recovery of stolen assets and putting in place systems and processes to profitably manage the stolen and recovered assets”.
The Minister further stated that President Mohammadu Buhari’s commitment at the May 2016 anti-Corruption Summit in London, setting up of Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Establishment of National Prosecution Coordination Committee (NPCC) and the resubmission of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and Money Laundering (Prohibition and Prevention) Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law among others are clear indication that government placed high premium on the fight against corruption and restoration of integrity in governance.
The overview of the three working documents which were presented to stakeholders for discussion was done by Mrs. Mohammed Ladidi of International and Comparative Law Department, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dr. Fatima Waziri, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) and Mrs. Lilian Ekeanyanwu of the Inter Agency Task Team.
Present at the meeting are Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Executive Secretary, (PACAC), Mrs. Stella Anukam, Director International and Comparative Law, Federal Ministry of Justice, Yakubu Saleh, Federal Ministry of Finance as well as Tukur Modibbo of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) among others.