FICAN Chairman Seeks Support for Befitting Secretariat
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Chairman of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Abuja, Mr Simeon Ogoegbulem, has called for the support of partner organization to build its befitting secretariat.
Speaking recently at the 20th anniversary celebrations of FICAN held at Top Rank Hotel Galaxy in Abuja, Mr Ogoegbulem pointed out that the support was imperative to achieve the objective.
He said the association has been operating from the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the last two decades, when the apex bank moved its headquarters to Abuja.
Giving a brief history of FICAN, the association boss explained that it was established in the second quarter of 1997 following the order of late General Sani Abacha to all ministries, departments and agencies to relocate to Abuja.
He said that the order led to the relocation of all regulatory agencies in the finance sector of the economy, including the CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the National Insurance Commission among others.
Also speaking at the event, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, said his agency has recovered over N430 billion in different currencies from January through August 2017 from treasury looters.
Mr Magu, represented by the Head of Public Interface of the EFCC, Mr Tony Orilade, gave details of the recovery as N409,270,706,686.75; $69,501,156.67; £231,118.69; €610,816.20; Dirham 443,400.00 and 70,500.00 Saudi Riyal.
He added that a total of 137 convictions were secured by the anti-graft agency within the period under review.
He said the monies were illegally siphoned and which, undoubtedly would have gone a long way to improve the living conditions of Nigerians, adding that the recovered sum is kept in the Recovery Fund Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“To put it bluntly, the single major problem militating against our national development is corruption, most crimes against humanity are perpetrated using proceeds of corruption, monies obtained through illegal activities, illicit cash flows and money laundering,” he said.
Mr Magu noted that corruption is no doubt at the heart of why a media house will owe its teeming staff members their salaries, despite their toil day and night to ensure that the publication does not miss the light of day, adding that even corruption is also the reason why our roads have become death traps, apart from the fact that our hospitals have remained in deplorable states and Nigeria has become a leading African country “exporting” medical personnel to developed countries.