EFCC Justified Donors' Support â€“ EU
ABUJA, Nov 25, (THEWILL) - The European Union, one of the donor agencies providing support for the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today commended the anti-graft agency for its achievements, which it said had amply justified the funding and other support given it by the EU and other donors. The commendation was given by Mr. Kazimierz Romanski, representative of the EU at the formal hand-over ceremony of the European Union-funded projects to the EFCC. He disclosed that the quantum of prosecution, convictions and recoveries achieved so far by the EFCC are eloquent proofs of its relevance and commitments to the anti-graft war, and announced that greater support will soon come for the agency under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The EU support code named “Project Support to Law Enforcement Against Economic and Financial Crimes and the Nigerian Judiciary (NGASO8)” was funded with a grant of almost 25 million Euros and implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, UNODC. In EFCC, the project involved Information Technology’s development, and forensic laboratory among others. While reviewing the success of the project , the EU Chief said that, “looking back, I think that the project has had a positive impact on improving the internal operational capacity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit to better perform and achieve results and also in involving civil society, disseminating messages and building public confidence in the fight against corruption”. He further commended the EFCC for its continuous commitment and active involvement in the implementation of the project, stressing that without the expertise and strong support of the anti-graft agency, the project would not have been possible. “The EFCC has showed professionalism in addressing some challenges and has always been keen in moving things forward. Although the project is closing now, the European Union remains committed to supporting the sector. We do plan to support the anti-corruption agencies under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for period 2009 to 2013”, he promised. The EFCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri said that the project has impacted and assisted her Commission and the country in combating the incidence of economic and financial crimes and also enabled the judiciary to modernize and improve service delivery. Specifically, she said that, with the support offered by the EU, the EFCC has become one of the agencies of government that are fully Information Technology- compliant. According to her, both the EU and UNODC have played crucial roles in the automation of processes and capacity building, National Anti-Corruption Strategy and the round-table on Non-Conviction Based Asset Forfeiture that resulted in the drafting of a bill currently before the National Assembly. She also said that the role played by the UNODC in project implementation cannot be over-emphasized, adding that “their experience, expertise and wide reach were always handy for us, even in areas outside the scope of the project. We would continually count on their support and cooperation in the future”, she added. UNODC’s Country Representative, Ms. Dagmar Thomas, thanked the pioneers of the project and those who implemented it, for their devotion, commitment, stance and vigour to move on even in the face of challenges. “Well, the moves made by EFCC and the Judiciary have not changed the world-but they have changed the picture in Nigeria, and the perception of many, in the world and here, regarding Nigeria’s stance against corruption, as today’s corruption indexes confirm”, Thomas said.