In a bid to strengthen collaboration between necessary stakeholders in the fight against corruption through abandoned project, a round table dialogue involving the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),media and anti-graft agency was held Today in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria .
In a presentation made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) which was delivered by DCDS Anita Ebiesuwa, Head Procurement fraud unit, EFCC zonal office , Port Harcourt, the anti-graft agency described corruption in public procurement process as complex and severe problem in Nigeria.
She revealed that EFCC as an agency has the saying “see something say something and do something”.
The EFCC Head procurement fraud unit in her presentation said “everyone is involved in the fight against corruption because the people who perpetrate these acts are not spirits; they live among us and are part of the society”.
She said “when people come out willfully to speak out and reveal the acts along the chain then corruption in the procurement process will be curtailed”.
She added that EFCC public affairs directorate saddled with function of public enlightenment and education visits schools, learning institutions, NYSC camps and use all forms of media to enlighten the public on the implications of corruption”.
Earlier, Dele Oyewale, Head of public affairs department EFCC zonal office, Port Harcourt, urged CSOs to go to the grassroot and enlighten the community on how to report abandoned project to relevant anti-graft agencies.
Peter Mazzi, a programme officer in the department of public finance and accountability in Social Development Integrated Centre also known as Social Action in his remarks said “ the purpose of the round table dialogue is to follow up on the last regional conference on tracking trends of corruption through abandoned project in Niger Delta region”
He said “when We went to the field to monitor capital projects, We realized that all across the region and states We monitored, there is a common denominator which is projects where money are spent to execute were left at different levels of completion, that was a loss not only to the Government but to the people for which the projects are suppose to serve”.
He stated that at the regional conference held on August,2018, a communiqué was issued, a lot of suggestion came from different section of the society who were in attendance and the stakeholders in the regional conference did not want it to end as an academic exercise ,they decided to have a round table dialogue to see how the suggestions can be modified,implemented and also look at pragmatic ways of using abandoned projects to fight corruption.
Green Isaac a project staff with Social Action in his own contribution said “We have to take the message of anti-corruption to the grassroot, mobilize our people, create awareness through our community outreach programmes in order to make people see the need of working with CSOs, anti-graft agencies and relevant stakeholders to erase issues of corruption .
Mr Green further stated that as part of activities to celebrate world international anti-corruption day, CSOs in collaboration with EFCC on Monday 9th,December,2018 will embark on an anti-corruption rally to sensitize people to realize that corruption is a plague that must be dealt with.
Another EFCC representative Aliyu Naibi who is also the Head of Financial accounting and forensic investigation section in EFCC zonal office Port Harcourt said “ there are some abandoned project that is free of criminal issues, CSOs should sensitize the community on how to know the reason why a project was abandoned”.
Other stakeholders in the dialogue round table include Enefaa Georgwill, Chairman of River Civil Society Organizations, Paul Arochukwu Ogbonna Esq, Cordinator of Civil Rights Council in Rivers State, John Ihua Executive Director of International Human Rights Protection Initiative ,several media personnel in the state amongst others.