Uche Usim, Abuja
Efforts to boost transparency in the nation’s privatisation programme got a boost on Wednesday as the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh said the Bureau would partner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) to ensure there are no opaque areas in all the processes involved in it.
Okoh who made this known during a courtesy visit to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu at the Commission’s Corporate office in Abuja, said the activities of the Bureau reflect the principles of transparency that the EFCC is known to propagate.
He commended the EFCC for its recorded achievements over the years especially in the sanitisation of the nation’s economy which he said has increased investors confidence.
The DG who was decorated during the visit as Anti-Corruption Ambassador by the EFCC acting Chairman, said that he was at the Commission to solicit the EFCC’s support in ensuring that the activities of the BPE are better monitored.
His said: “the EFCC has provided a platform and atmosphere that has enhanced comfort and confidence in the investors who we directly deal with on a regular basis, the kind of comfort to engage and invest in this economy.
The BPE is an agency of government that is mandated to provide sector and enterprise reforms as they relate to government and state owned enterprises”, he added.
He informed his host that the Bureau over the years had conducted transactions in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy which have brought huge revenue to the Federal Government and improved service delivery.
Responding, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu expressed the Commission’s readiness to partner with the BPE in all its transactions.
He assured his guest that the Commission was ready to carry out due diligence on any entity that shows interest in the purchase of government assets in order to prevent corrupt elements from using the privatisation process as a means of laundering illegally acquired funds.
“We will be willing to support you against any threat that will discourage investors from coming into the country and in order to achieve this; I think we need to establish a common desk for a seamless synergy. Once again I seize this opportunity to thank the BPE and I am happy to tell you that the baby you nurtured has now outgrown its parents as the EFCC today can boost of a befitting Head Office complex which was made possible by our determination and support from the current administration.”
Magu thanked the BPE for its support during the evolution of the Commission saying the N100 Million received from the BPE as take off support helped the Commission to start its operations. “If we hadn’t gotten that money, we wouldn’t have been able to kick start”, he confessed.
The money, he said, brought some seriousness into EFCC’s operations and “we started arresting those fraudsters who hitherto were seen as ‘untouchable’ moving around with convoys and sirens. Many of them were arrested and jailed and the Commission recovered substantial amounts of money on behalf of so many victims from them which were restituted to the victims.”
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