Lawan to FG: Use technology for revenue collection to check corruption

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has advised the Federal Government to explore the use of relevant technology for the purpose of revenue collection by its agencies, so as to prevent the diversion of public funds into private pockets. This he said even as he pledged that the National Assembly will speedily consider the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN) Bill presently before the Ninth Assembly.

Lawan made this known in a welcome remark delivered during his induction as Patron by the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria. The Senate President, while re-stating the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards the fight against corruption, noted that the deployment of technology would prevent, detect, as well as assist in the investigation of fraudulent practices.

He said “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, believes very strongly in fighting corruption, and we equally believe in same regardless of our political persuasion. So, this group will definitely add tangible value to the fight against corruption. “The fight against corruption is worthy, considering the damage it is causing and has caused over the years. The angle from which the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN) is coming from, is surely a practical approach.

“The quantum of monies and revenues that we have as a country, that can make us perform in the area of infrastructural development, is dependent on how efficiently and prudently we are able to deploy those resources. “We once had a lot of resources in this country, and yet the bulk of it went into private pockets and, therefore, we could achieve very little. “Today, we get little and we can achieve much because genuine fear has gripped everyone that if you embezzle or steal, the law will catch up with you. So, there is that fear, and those who try to take advantage of the system are much more careful. “We are using our resources much more effectively than when we had more. So, I believe if we can have more revenues, we can achieve more.

“It is practical because it seeks to provide skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology to prevent, detect, and to investigate corruption. It also envisages mechanisms against re-occurrence. “In whatever way, we want to fight corruption, we must ensure that we emphasize on prevention because corruption has been in existence for long, so people will always try to take advantage of the system. “Therefore, we must emphasize on how to prevent it, and make it difficult for those who are entrusted with public funds to have undue access and opportunity to divert public funds. “We must prevent it because some believe that if they try, they can get away with it, and of course the best way to deal with this is to make it difficult and impossible to access public funds.”

Lawan went further to explain that “the anti-corruption framework can enhance the prosecution and sanctioning process. “We have emphasized prevention as a good route to reducing corruption, given the tendency of individuals to exploit weaknesses in systems. “People are more likely to take advantage of loopholes than they can create it. Technologies are additionally expected to reduce loopholes, because of their sophistication, the skills required, and for the fact that they are structured. “Effective usage also requires time to establish. Using technologies therefore limits, or prevents the chances of infractions, and eventually saves prosecutorial time and resources.”

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