The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it will strengthen its collaboration with the House of Representatives in addressing corruption and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in the country.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, made this known at the opening of a two-day capacity building retreat for members of House of Representatives’ Committee on Anti-Corruption, and board members and directors of the Commission held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The retreat deliberated on corruption, IFFs and financing for National Development.
Speaking at the event, Prof Owasanoye stated that regulations were required from the legislature to eradicate corruption and IFFs.
He noted that the regulation of the cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria would help to prevent the swindling of unsuspecting members of the public.
He emphasized the need for more regulations to address IFFs and other related offences, stating that the breaches in the law and absence of regulatory framework have encouraged perpetrators of the crimes to continue to engage in the crime.
This, he added, would strengthen the economy, and lessen the rate of borrowings by the country.
“Nigeria needs regulatory intervention in cryptocurrency trading. Some people trading in cryptocurrency have used the digital currency and assets to engage in corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing. Corruption in digital assets is not easily traceable,” he stated.
He assured the legislators that the Commission would continue to cooperate with them to achieve its mandate of ridding Nigeria of corruption through lawful enforcement and preventive means.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Hon. Nicholas Garba Shehu, commended the Commission for collaborating with the House in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Shehu said, “Corruption has held Nigeria backwards for many years and whatever we can do, we will do to help the fight against corruption. The 9th National Assembly has made the fight against corruption one of its cardinal mandates.
“The House of Representatives stands ready to partner with the ICPC in the achievement of its mandate which is to rid the country of corruption.”
Speaking on the topic “National Security and the Opportunity Cost of Corruption”, Prof. E.E. Alemika of University of Jos and a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) decried the depletion of critical national resources with renewal due to corruption.
“We are having less and less of what we bused to have and not refilling them. We have discouraged productivity, creativity and we are not investing in the real sector of the economy,” Alemika stated.
Prof Jonathan Aremu of Covenant University gave an in-dept analysis of the topic “Illicit Financial Flows Typologies – Trade, Tax and Oil”, while Mr. George Tyendezwa of the Federal Ministry of Justice explained Cryptocurrencies, Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Threats. Another paper on “Public Service and Integrity, including the NEIP” was presented by a representative of the former Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta.
The two-day event also featured an interactive session between the House of Representatives Members and the Management of ICPC on ways to improve the operations of ICPC. The programme rounded off with a city tour of Uyo and a Dinner for the participants.