Legal Nigeria

Stakeholders okay extension of NACS implementation by four years

By Charles Ogugbuaja

Stakeholders in the fight against corruption across the country, after an extensive deliberation recently, have urged the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to extend the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).

The implementation of NACS included the two committees, the Inter-Ministerial and the Monitoring and Evaluation Committees (IMC and M and E, respectively), for another four years cycle.

The FEC had, on July 5, 2017, presided over by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), approved the NACS 2017-2021, and subsequently directed its implementation.

The policy document requires stakeholders’ endorsement at the end of the strategy’s implementation before its extension. The mandate includes to cascade implementation at the states and local council areas.

The stakeholders, who rose from a one-day meeting in Abuja, include representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Civil Society Organisations, the media, officials of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) hinged their decision on many activities to be carried out by the committees to drive the NACS process.

They also blamed non-implementation to the national lockdown caused by the Coronavirus disease in 2020 and lack of funds, which made the strategy not fully executed.

Speaking at the event, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Umar Etsu Mohammed, represented by the Chairman, Technical Committee on the Implementation of the NACS, Hajia Ladidi B. Mohammed, said the first phase of the strategy, which began in 2017 ended on July 5, 2021.

According to him, plans were on to prepare draft on the strategy for legislative processes.

He hinted that by the decision of the stakeholders, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Malami Abubakar (SAN), would send the decision to the FEC for formal approval, informing that there were pillars and thematic areas, including prevention of crimes, awareness creation, and assets recovery and management of proceeds of crime, and strengthening the legal institutions, which would be reviewed in the Action Plan.

He expressed the need to fight corruption frontally, urging the public to disregard the stories in some newspapers that the assets confiscated by the Federal Government had been disposed off and proceeds unaccounted for.