President Bola Tinubu has criticized the unjust stereotyping of Nigerians as inherently corrupt.
He expressed the view at a forum, with the theme, ”Public Engagement on Youth, Religion, and the Fight Against Corruption,” organized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Abuja on Wednesday, January 31.
The event also marked the launch of an Inter-Faith Manual and Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs.
Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, commended the EFCC for serving as a moral compass, stressing that the country was home to diligent and honest people.
While highlighting the global contributions of Nigerians in significant fields, such as Artificial Intelligence and medicine, Tinubu noted that such gross misrepresentation failed to reflect the true essence of a nation composed of diverse and resilient people.
He said: “Over the decades, Nigerians have been victims of mislabelling. Such gross misrepresentation fails to reflect the true essence of our diverse and resilient nation.
”The association of internet crimes with the entire Nigerian populace lacks statistical evidence and does not align with the sociology of everyday Nigerians.
”Our nation comprises hardworking, honest citizens who contribute significantly to various fields globally, from Artificial Intelligence to medicine.
“While we reject blanket stereotyping that undermines the majority upholding principles of integrity and diligence, we must face the fact that we function in an interconnected world where cybercrimes have evolved into a global phenomenon.”
“Our message to the youth is clear: the horizon is wide, and opportunities abound across various sectors,” he said.
On his part, EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, said the agency was committed to prevention strategies and collaboration with faith-based organizations to combat corruption.
“With all modesty, we have been effective in deploying our enforcement powers in tackling various forms of financial crimes, including grand corruption and cybercrimes.
”Our conviction profile and record of asset recovery are unmatched by any other agency. But rather than abate, these crimes appear to have festered, suggesting that a change of approach might be imperative.
“This realization commends a reconsideration of the commission’s anti-graft strategy with a new focus on prevention in line with the popular dictum that prevention is better than cure. It is also in tandem with the recommendations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC,” he said.