President Bola Tinubu has made a commitment to offer additional support to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in enhancing its capacity to combat digital offenses during a public engagement on youth, religion, and the fight against corruption. This event, which also saw the launch of the inter-faith manual and fraud risk assessment project for MDAs at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, was organized by the EFCC to involve multiple stakeholders in the fight against economic and financial crimes. The President, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, expressed his concern over the mislabelling and blanket stereotyping of Nigeria as a country with the highest prevalence of cybercrime and other forms of corrupt practices among its population.
Mr. Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications, released a statement titled, ‘President Tinubu Decries Labelling, Blanket Stereotyping of Nigerians Over Cybercrimes,’ detailing the discussions from the event. Tinubu believes that such stereotypes undermine the majority of citizens who uphold integrity and diligence. He also stressed the need for urgent action to combat internet crimes and other forms of corruption, assuring the EFCC of the government’s support in their efforts to tackle these digital offenses.
The President expressed his regret over the misrepresentation of the entire Nigerian populace in relation to internet crimes, emphasizing that such generalizations lack statistical proof and are not reflective of the typical Nigerian way of life. According to Tinubu, “The association of internet crimes with the entire Nigerian populace lacks statistical evidence and does not align with the sociology of everyday Nigerians. Our nation comprises hardworking, honest citizens who contribute significantly to various fields globally.”
Furthermore, President Tinubu praised the EFCC for being a moral compass and persistently reminding the nation’s conscience of the need to combat corruption. He also reminded Nigerian youths of the numerous lawful opportunities available for enterprises within and outside the country. His administration has taken steps to establish a Students Loan Board to address the financial needs of students, with the aim of offering a tangible alternative to criminality.
In addition to focusing on the fight against corruption, the President also lauded the EFCC’s efforts to tackle corruption through the Inter-Faith and Fraud Risk Assessment Projects, emphasizing the potential of religion as a tool for ethical reformation and the importance of engaging diverse faith communities in the fight against corruption.
During the event, the Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, highlighted the significance of the launch of the interfaith manuals and the Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs in engaging relevant stakeholders in the anti-corruption fight. He also underscored the involvement of religious organizations in illicit activities, including money laundering, and called on leaders across different groups to partner with the commission by promoting messages that glorify the virtues of integrity, honesty, and hard work.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, also emphasized the importance of preventive measures in the renewed fight against corruption. Additionally, several prominent figures, including religious leaders, government officials, and heads of government agencies and parastatals, expressed their support for the administration’s commitment to battle corruption in Nigeria.
In conclusion, President Tinubu’s pledge of increased support for the EFCC in addressing digital offenses and his emphasis on the need to dispel misrepresentations of Nigerians in relation to cybercrimes and corruption reflect the administration’s determination to combat economic and financial crimes. The event serves as a platform to engage various stakeholders and unite efforts in the fight against corruption, with a focus on ethical reformation and the promotion of lawful opportunities for Nigerian youths.