THE scourge of corruption is one of the reasons why Nigeria is not

living up to its ‘Giant of Africa’ Shibboleth and has continued to

crawl on her knees in adult diapers to the chagrin of her countrymen

both at home and in the Diaspora. Since Independence, billions of

dollars has been lost to corruption according to the global

anti-corruption watch dog, Transparency International (TI).

On hindsight, it was commendable of former President Olusegun Obasanjo

to have established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC) in 2003 to effectively tackle graft and corruption. That nearly

twenty year old vision has yielded fruits as the agency is making

sturdy strides in the gargantuan war against the malaise.

Corruption is too huge to be fought alone by the EFCC and we commend

the EFCC for forging strategic partnerships with other agencies in the

country to make corruption minimal. We recall during the heady days of

the sinister apartheid regime in South Africa that the liberation

fighters most notably Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Desmond Tutu,

Winnie Mandela etc didn’t take the Boer regime headlong alone.

They sought collaboration among many nations like Nigeria, Ghana,

Zimbabwe, Kenya etc for financial, technical and ideological support.

Many South Africans in exile who were fighting the cause from abroad

successfully lobbied the then Margaret Thatcher led administration to

impose sanctions on the regime of the then Pieter Willem Botha led

government. Mbeki, then based in London played a key role in the

negotiations that led to the release of Mandela from incarceration

after 27 years behind bars. The American War of Independence from

Britain which led to the latter defeating the army of King George III

had the backing of France. Noble causes are never fought alone. This

piece will critically examine how the EFCC has partnered with Nigerian

agencies to wage war against the hydra headed monster of corruption.

The EFCC has gone into a partnership with the Nigerian Content

Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in 2020 for speedy

investigation of infractions committed by oil companies in Nigeria.

This is a step in the right direction as the oil sector – the goose

that lays the golden egg for the Nigerian economy is bedeviled by many

irregularities allegedly committed by the big players in it especially

the International Oil Companies (IOC’s). Popular businessman and

politician, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim told the world that he made his

fortune as a tax consultant to the Federal Government by ensuring the

government got billions of dollars in taxes from the IOC’s. Nigerians

deserve a better deal from the black gold and this partnership is

designed to bring home the bacon to the doorsteps of Nigerians.

In 2021, the EFCC and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency

Initiative (NEITI) have gone into a partnership to ensure that the

revenues due to the government in the oil and gas sector is remitted

to the government and to also fight corruption in the sector. The

Vanguard Newspaper on April 23,  reported that the EFCC Helmsman,

Abdulrasheed Bawa was quoted to have said when he received the NEITI

Boss at the EFCC’s Headquarters in Jabi Abuja where he said “We have

developed expertise in oil and gas investigation. We did oil subsidy

investigation, we did oil swap investigation, we did OML and OPL

investigations, which came with billions of naira recovered. We can

work together to ensure that what rightly belongs to Nigeria is ours”.

He urged the Agency to take advantage of the Extractive Industries

Fraud Section of the Commission, which was created exclusively to

tackle fraud in the extractive sector.

“In 2012, the EFCC set up a special team for petroleum subsidy which I

was part of, and at the end of our assignment, it was changed into a

permanent section in the EFCC. It was changed from special team for

petroleum subsidy to Extractive Industry Fraud Section, and the EFCC

did not stop at that. We ensured that every Zone of the Commission

have that section.”

The Thisday Newspapers reported on December 16, 2020 that the EFCC and

the Department for State Services(DSS) have partnered to effectively

tackle graft in Nigeria. A statement issued by EFCC said the Ilorin

Zonal Head of the EFCC, Oseni Oluwasina Kazeem, made the disclosure

Tuesday while playing host to the State Director, DSS, Patrick

Ikenweine, at the commission’s office in Ilorin.

Kazeem, who decried the rate at which corruption had permeated every

sector of Nigeria system noted that the cankerworm could only be tamed

through collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, including the DSS.

He commended the DSS for being a good partner in the fight and called

for more robust working relationship between the two agencies.

Earlier, the Director DSS, Ikenweine stated the essence of his visit

which he said was to familiarise with critical stakeholders in the


“I’m here to familiarise with you in a bid towards building on the

existing cordial relationship with your agency.

“The DSS and EFCC have a record of good working relationship, which I

hope should be sustained,” he said.

The EFCC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) went into a

partnership during the Chairmanship of Babatunde Fowler to fight tax

evasion in the country. This collaboration, according to the FIRS

Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, will ensure Nigeria’s financial

security and independence, which he said are key to national


Fowler made this known in Abuja at the opening of International

Conference and Capacity Building Workshop on the Use of Beneficial

Ownership Information and The Recovery of Assets in Africa. He

beckoned on Nigerians and the international community to collaborate

in the fight against “any illegality”.

“Corruption is anything illegal. Whether it is money laundering, tax

fraud, tax evasion or other illegalities. We must collaborate to fight

them. When you are fighting corruption, you are taking back from the

corrupt people, what they erroneously think belongs to them. That is

why they resist the fight against corruption”, Fowler said.

The EFCC and the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development

Initiative (PAGMI) on August 3, 2021 reiterated the need for

continuous education and enlightenment of artisanal gold miners and

gold sellers in view of their vulnerability in being used to

perpetrate sinister acts of money laundering.

A few days ago the EFCC encouraged the members of the National Youth

Service Corps (NYSC) to embrace financial crimes in the country.  “Add

your voice to mine, because the fight against economic and financial

crimes involves you and I. I will play my part, you will play yours.”

The EFCC chairman stated this in a sensitization lecture on the Role

of Youth in Curbing Cybercrimes presented on his behalf by officials

of the Commission at various Orientation camps of the Batch B stream 1

set of corps members.

“Embrace hard work and shun crime, Yahoo-Yahoo is not a sustainable

way of life. As dynamic young men and women, our desire is to harness

your intelligence and energy for greater public good in your areas of

primary assignments”, Mr. Bawa said.

The EFCC is extremely pragmatic in its strategic partnerships with

other Nigerian agencies as they cannot win the anti-corruption war

alone. We urge the EFCC to forge more partnerships especially with the

media, religious bodies and the Civil Rights groups as the

collaborative efforts will greatly reduce the scourge of graft and set

Nigeria on the path to greatness which may dwarf the achievements of

the Asian Tigers.

Ikhide writes from Lagos, Nigeria

Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1