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Australia pledges support for EFCC on cybercrime, anti-corruption fight

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The Australian government has pledged to support the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the fight against economic and financial crimes.

The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, John Donnelly, made the pledge last week during a courtesy visit to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

The High Commissioner said that he was impressed with the Commission’s Annual Report and the achievements of Bawa in his 100 Days in office, adding that he has seen how prepared the Commission was, in tackling corruption.

“I am very impressed with your programme, am here to explore options and discuss issues concerning our mutual interest and to also show our support,” he said.

He observed that Nigeria and Australia have similar experience in the area of tax fraud investigation and promised to link the EFCC with the Home Affairs Office based in Pretoria, South Africa, for necessary assistance and collaboration.

In his response, the EFCC Chairman, Bawa, thanked the High Commissioner for the visit, stating that Australia is among the few countries that have a history of mutual cooperation with the Commission.

He thanked Australia for past support to the Commission, stating that; “I want to let you know that Australia is one of the few countries where we have long standing relationship.

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“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australia Federal Police in 2012 and the Western Australia Police.

He regretted that these MoUs were not adequately implemented in line with the vision of his predecessors.

“We are open for collaboration and any kind of assistance that will help us achieve results, we are also aware of the cybercrime issues of which many people from your country are victims; so we need to bridge the gap, our hands are open and we will achieve our mandate in full,” he said.

The EFCC boss disclosed that the Commission on Wednesday September 29, 2021 launched its Strategic Plan that will run through 2025.

“We intend to achieve our vision of a corrupt-free Nigeria through the five objectives of the plan, including prevention, intelligence-driven investigation and development of human capacity; because without being well equipped, we cannot achieve all that.”

Bawa further informed the envoy of the recent launch of the Eagle Eye App for reporting economic crime, revealing that the application has so far recorded 13 million downloads globally.

Donnelly expressed surprise at the reception the EFCC App has recorded, noting that it has overtaken Nigerian music as most downloaded on Apple and Google Play Store.

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