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Nigeria’s Poverty Crisis Linked to Procurement Corruption, Say EFCC, CSOs



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), along with Civil Society Organizations and various stakeholders, has established a connection between procurement fraud and the escalating poverty levels in Nigeria. This revelation came to light during a single-day event organized by CSOs, focusing on the collaborative efforts and brainstorming sessions aimed at combatting corruption in procurement. The event took place in Abuja and was titled “Strategic Alliance & Think-Tank Against Procurement Corruption.”

Represented by Ofe-Imu Atiba Sunday, the Deputy Director of Special Duties at the EFCC, Mr. Abdulkarim Chukkol, the acting executive chairman of the EFCC, emphasized that the persistently dire poverty situation in Nigeria can be attributed to the pervasive corruption prevalent within both the political and economic frameworks of the nation.

The acting EFCC boss disclosed:

  • “We need not begin to re-announce what corruption has done to Nigeria and what it is doing to Nigeria. We have a nation that is so blessed with all forms of resources, both human and material. But, we are languishing in poverty just because of corruption. Procurement corruption or fraud constitutes 70 per cent of corruption cases in Nigeria.
  • “All cases of corruption particularly in public sector corruption borders on procurement both high profile procurement to the least of procurement. It is difficult for anybody to go to a public purse or vault and just take money and go. So, the only avenue that has remained a conduit pipe where resources are being carried away is through procurement.”

Mohammed Bougei Attah, the National Coordinator of Procurement Observation Initiative (PRADIN) who attended the joint meeting noted that despite huge investments in human and material resources to fight corruption in Nigeria, the menace seems to persist.

Attah opined that the wrong utilization of certain provisions for prosecutors and the total absence of audits in public procurement were some of the major challenges facing fighting procurement fraud in Nigeria.

Attah proposed that complete advocacy for compliance with the extant laws is one proven way to ensure transparency in public procurement.