NICO Teams Up with EFCC for Youth Reorientation Against Corruption

by Ohepo Ohepo

Ola Olukoyede, Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has connected the nation’s high rate of corruption to its inhabitants’ disregard for cultural norms.

He revealed this to Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), during a courtesy visit on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, to discuss inter-agency collaborations towards reorienting Nigerians on the need to revive its cultural values as a tool to fight and eradicate corruption in the country.

The EFCC Chairman claims that the Commission is working hard to reduce the threat of corruption to a manageable level, and that raising public awareness of the extreme moral decay and entirely broken morals among citizens is one way the Commission hopes to fulfill its purpose.

“You don’t have business with what doesn’t belong to you, and a reorientation of citizens toward morality and values will greatly aid our endeavors.” Rather of keeping track of thousands of convictions, we should focus our efforts on preventing crime. NICO can help us by examining the gaps and helping people reorient themselves. Olukoyede stated, “We need people like you to support us by getting involved in the fight against corruption.”

“We would not mind giving your Institute a desk in the Commission to see how we can join forces in re-orienting Nigerians because if we go back to our values and with the potency it has to take away the issue of moral decadence, I can assure you that it will reduce the bulk of my work,” he continued. “Basic orientation is needed for Nigerians to understand the need to avoid engagements in criminal vices.”

Speaking earlier, Otunba Ajiboye stated that the purpose of his visit was to ask for the commission’s cooperation and support in carrying out the Institute’s duty as the leading cultural training institution in the nation. According to him, such cooperation would not only help combat financial crimes and fraudulent operations by rewiring Nigerians’ minds and cultures to adhere to our cultural values, but it would also intensify the fight to restore Nigeria’s long-lost cultural values.

In addition to calling for the restoration of cultural values as a means of combating corruption, the NICO Boss revealed that the Institute is mandated by law to act as a center of orientation for cultural matters among Nigerian policy makers and to educate citizens on how to incorporate Nigerian culture into all facets of daily life. As a result, the Institute has suggested training senior Commission officers in order to increase productivity.

In his own words, “The Institute is of the strong belief that the EFCC, as a crime detection and prevention agency, can harness the advantage of the Nigerian cultural element to tackle financial crimes and corruption in Nigeria.” The Commission’s officers will be better able to carry out their duties if they are grounded in Nigerian culture for successful investigations and questioning.

There is no doubting that cultural appreciation can lower Nigerians’ rates of financial crime and corruption. You’ll concur with me that there is no Nigerian culture that supports greed or illegal activity. But these principles have given way to a foreign culture of covetousness, as demonstrated by the rising number of online scammers, or “yahoo yahoo,” as they are colloquially known, as well as other unethical behaviors like embezzlement or theft of public funds. These are all types of theft, and no Nigerian culture condones thievery.

In an effort to apply the cultural awareness that these officers will acquire to support criminal investigations and questioning procedures, we are putting forth a proposal for a Cultural Orientation Training for Senior Officers of the Commission. You will concur with me that a suspect who is regarded and valued for their cultural background would typically be more cooperative during questioning. He stated, “NICO can efficiently train and equip Commission officers with such invaluable Cultural Orientation Training.”

Caleb Nor
Media Assistant-ES NICO, Abuja

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