By Taiwo Ogunniyi, Ilorin
The President, Kwara State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KWACCIMA, Mr. Olalekan Ayodimeji, has expressed readiness to complement the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in its quest to entrench a stable and corruption-free environment for businesses to thrive in the State.
Mr. Olalekan stated this on Friday, May 20, 2022 during a courtesy visit to the Zonal Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, ACE II Michael Nzekwe, at the Command’s Office along Catchment Road, GRA, Ilorin.
According to him, KWACCIMA is a Non-Governmental Organisation and an Association of entrepreneurs with common goal of protecting and improving the business environment in Kwara State.
Whilst stating the essence of the visit, Mr. Olalekan said the visit was to brief the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command of the economic activities of KWACCIMA in the State and use the opportunity to acquaint members of the council with the activities of the Commission as well as the agency’s expectation from members.
He said: “We are here on advocacy visit. We are partners in the course of promoting growth and development, not only in Kwara State, but in the country. KWACCIMA is an umbrella body for organised private sector and the voice of businesses in Kwara State.
“We do not condone acts of corruption in the conduct of businesses. As much as possible, we have been trying our best to contribute our quota to the economic growth of the State and national development through creation of employment opportunities, payment of taxes and dues to government among others”.
Mr. Olalekan applauded the giant strides of the EFCC in the fight against corruption and urged it to further strengthen its advocacy, as it remained the most effective measure to preventing corruption.
The KWACCIMA President sought for closer rapport between the EFCC and his association with a view to sanitise the business community of corruption, while boosting the economy of the State.
Specifically, he urged the Command to address the issue of difficulty in having businesses registered online with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) as well as other related issues faced by business owners in the State.
In his response, ACE II Michael Nzekwe, Zonal Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, acknowledged the role of KWACCIMA in its advocacy for greater support for the private sector and its support for the EFCC in the fight against corruption.
The Zonal Commander used the occasion to educate the visitors on the recently launched ‘Strategic Plan’ by the Executive Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, which was designed to serve as roadmap for the realisation of the Commission’s mandate. According to him, the ‘Strategic Plan’ would among other things increase public engagement in the fight against corruption.
He assured them of the Commission’s readiness to collaborate with any stakeholder in its fight against corruption adding that no one could fight corruption alone without the engagement of other stakeholders.
“No one can fight corruption alone. We value stakeholders’ engagements. When we see stakeholders identifying with us, we are always glad at it”, Nzekwe said.
The Zonal Commander also promised that all the issues raised by the association’s President would be addressed to ensure seamless relationship between the two agencies.
He urged them to take advantage of the online application called “Eagle Eye” recently developed by the Commission to report cases of corruption saying, “it is safe, faster and convenient”.
The KWACCIMA President was accompanied on the visit by Prince Ayo Fagbemi, Director General, KWACCIMA; Ahmed Maigida, Finance and Admin Manager; Alhaji Ibrahim Moronfolu, Internal Auditor; Prince Segun Oyewole and Hajia Zururat zubair, who are both council members.
Edited by Felix Ajide