The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has shifted its focus to currency traffickers and money launderers especially at the airports.
EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, who stated this, also warned staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other aviation workers against abetting financial crimes.
Magu spoke at the anti-corruption sensitisation programme organised for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and aviation sector workers.
He said: “We have been working together with FAAN in the area of currency trafficking, money laundering and several dimensions of financial crimes being perpetrated at the airports. We will do our best to rid our airports of these launderers.
“The FAAN in collaboration with the EFCC can fight corruption effectively. Cases of free movement of criminals in and out of the country and the brazen laundering of proceeds of illicit activities through our airports can be checked with improved synergy.
“The airport as perhaps the most important gateway into the country is strategic in many ways. The most important is that it is foreigners’ first contact with Nigeria and the impression they form of our country is largely informed by the conduct of our aviation professionals.
“This is why the conduct of our aviation professionals is key to the efforts at national rebirth, especially the critical economic mandate of attracting foreign direct investment into our economy.
“To this extent, it is imperative that we erase those practices, attitudes and behaviours that cost a slur on our nation’s reputation and make Nigeria an unattractive destination for both tourists and investment.
“To this extent, it is important to put screening and monitoring systems in place to ensure that airport staff deliver service to the best international practices.
“As things stand, except we delude ourselves, we cannot deny that the twin evil of corruption and poor infrastructure have blighted our aviation industry.
“In recent times, many cases of corruption have been reported in the sector ranging from misuse of funds, bribery, extortion, to abuse of authority by officials at the airports.
“The implication of this is the compelling need to strengthen our key integrity systems by consciously eliminating practices that promotes corrupt tendencies in the public sectors. “As colleagues in the service of our beloved nation, I like to remind us that it is vanity to aspire to amass wealth through corrupt means. We should rather be mindful of our legacy of service by being accountable at all time.”
Magu urged aviation workers to buy-in into the anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added: “Our presence here today is to bring the message of anti-corruption to the management and staff of FAAN and other aviation workers. The essence is to improve workplace consciousness of corruption and its corrosive effects and encourage workers to have a buy-in, as the EFCC alone cannot fight and win the war against corruption in Nigeria.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to remind us that, corruption affects all of us and we must resolve to fight it to a standstill in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to us that, “If we don‘t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria!” We must not allow that to happen, for the sake of our children and the unborn generation.
“l therefore advise you to familiarize yourselves with the EFCC Act and other laws affecting your duties as EFCC will not spare anyone who runs foul of the law.
“The Commission is determined more than ever before to rid all government Ministries, Departments an Agencies of all forms of fraudulent activities.”
Mgu, who later spoke with newsmen, said the EFCC has a mandate to prevent financial crimes.
The EFCC chairman said: “Section 6 of the EFCC Act requires the commission to, in addition to its enforcement responsibilities, take measures to prevent the commission of economic and financial crimes. Among such measures is aggressive public enlightenment and education. You will all agree with me that it is far cheaper to prevent a crime than to fight it.
“We will do enforcement and preventive measures concurrently. The anti-corruption war is not personal; it is about Nigeria as a country, it is about our people.
Managing Director of FAAN Mr. Saleh Dunoma said: “We have an effective CCTV system in our airports. All airport users should be warned that their activities are being fully recorded.