Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged local government officials in the country to shun corruption.
Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the Commission/Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Training on Anti-Corruption, Fiscal Responsibility and Effective Leadership for principal officers of Local Government Councils in Nigeria.
He said local government in Nigeria could not achieve its aim of bringing development to the grassroots if the problem of systemic corruption was not curbed.
"The problem of corruption and lack of fiscal transparency perhaps remain one of the hydra-headed factors that accounts for the inefficiency and retarded growth that local governments continue to experience in Nigeria today. The system has virtually become superfluous and redundant," he said.
He added that corrupt practices in the local governments had over the years rendered the local governments inactive and devoid of concrete developmental activities.
According to him, corruption thrived in the local councils through inflation of prices, over-estimation of cost of project(s), the ghost workers syndrome, award of contracts and subsequent abandonment and outright payment of huge sums of money to political leaders.
Lamorde said the commission was eager to collaborate with ALGON to enlighten and train its officials.
"I assure ALGON that the EFCC shall give it all the support it requires to educate its officials all over the country on anti-corruption. Fiscal responsibility and effective leadership at the grassroots level," he said.
President of ALGON, Ozor Nwabueze Okafor, expressed appreciation to the Commission for the training which he said was critical for the realization of the mandates of the councils.
"The most critical challenge is not the autonomy issues or the financial allocation but the capacity of those entrusted with these things to deliver on their expected mandate," he said.
- CAJ News