Democracy Day: ANEEJ Tasks 9th National Assembly on POCA, Other Anti-Corruption Bills
Abuja Nigeria. June 12, 2019… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has congratulated the new leadership of the Ninth National Assembly led by Senator Ahmed Lawan and Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as well as all members of the Ninth National Assembly , calling on them to move quickly to resolve the logjam in the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill as well as other anti-corruption Bill passed by the 8th National Assembly
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor in a statement yesterday in Abuja while congratulating the new leadership of the National Assembly said their emergence as leaders is a matter of trust reposed in them by their colleagues and by extension the rest of Nigerians and urged them to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, noting that corruption has precipitated widespread poverty and conflict across the country.
It will be recalled that that ANEEJ and other CSOs assiduously advocated for the passage of POCA and other anti-corruption Bills by the Eighth National Assembly before the end of their sittings last month. POCA Bill, as passed by the 8th Assembly does not seem to enjoy the support of some critical stakeholders such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which have urged President Buhari not to assent to the Bill the way it was passed.
ANEEJ Executive Director said: “We hope that the current uncertainty facing the Proceeds of Crime Bill will be quickly addressed so that Nigerian government can continue to enjoy the support of the International Community to recover stolen assets stashed in Western banks. POCA is needed to strengthen the fight against poverty and corruption, so we want the new leadership of the National Assembly to reach out to the President and the EFCC as well as other stakeholders to resolve all knotty issues around the Bill and have it signed into law.”
Much more, the ANEEJ boss called on the leadership of the Ninth National Assembly to take urgent steps to enunciate a bold and radical legislative agenda urgently needed to drive growth and development in the country.
“We call on the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker, House of Representatives, the Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to reach out to President Buhari, so that together, they can jointly craft innovative anti-corruption architecture that will drive the fight against poverty and corruption in Nigeria.
“It is important to form the 9th National Assembly that they will be judged on how they deal with the issues of the current conflicts across the country which are largely driven by the absence of jobs amongst our teaming unemployed youths and lack of growth in the economy. We hope President Buhari with his party taking the lead in the National Assembly will swing into action to reverse this worrisome socio-economic trend by placing the economy back on the path of growth and prosperity,” Rev Ugolor stated.
The ANEEJ helmsman noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown, through the Social Investment Programme (SIP), that it is possible to tackle poverty by using recovered assets to invest in Cash Transfer Programme, adding that this has to be supported by the 9th National Assembly and sustained through the passage and assent to the POCA as well as other anti-corruption Bills. “The Social Investment Programme also has to be backed by annual budgetary allocations,” Rev Ugolor tells the new National Assembly leaders.
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