The Egyptian government has offered to provide strong support for the government of Nigeria in her fight against corruption.
The Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ashraf Abdel Kader Salama made this known in Abuja, during a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),Mr Ekpo Nta at the commission’s headquarters, Abuja.
The envoy said Egypt had long years of experience in fighting corruption and hence sought a mutually beneficial cooperation with Nigeria, while expressing willingness in organizing training courses for anti-corruption agencies in the country with emphasis on ICPC members of staff.
The Ambassador said both Nigeria and Egypt had enjoyed long years of diplomatic ties, recalling how Egypt stood by Nigeria during the civil war which it fought to sustain its unity and oneness.
He said Nigeria and Egypt shared many things in common, stressing that while Nigeria remains the largest country in the black continent, Egypt ranked second just as the citizens of the two countries had been relating peacefully in many areas.
According to the Ambassador, the two countries should capitalize on the unique similarities between them to forge a synergy on trade and commerce as well as on the fight against corruption while setting a good example for the rest of African countries.
He said, “Nigerians should be proud of their country, not in terms of wealth, but in terms of human resources. Nigeria is a rich country and that should be maintained.’’
“Egypt and Nigeria have gone a long way in history. Egypt is the only country that stood by Nigeria during the civil war. The two countries have since been sharing many things in common. Many Nigerians live in Egypt and Egyptians have descendants in Nigeria.’’
“In terms of population, Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa, while Egypt is the second. There is need for the two countries to start discussing while striking a balance in relationship and to be a good example for other African Countries.” He said.
Responding, the Chairman of ICPC Ekpo Nta expressed delight at the offer by the Egyptian government as he assured his visitors of the preparedness of ICPC to collaborate with the government of Egypt on the fight against corruption.
He praised the long years of relationship between Egypt and Nigeria, most especially in the areas of trade and religion, describing such as wonderful.
He told his visitors that ICPC under his leadership has been blazing the trail in the fight against corruption, alluding to the setting up of the Anti-Corruption Academy as part of efforts by the Commission to raise the bar on war against corruption in the country.
Mr Nta said ICPC had been keeping with the terms of references setting it up. This he said included Investigation of corrupt acts, Education and mass mobilisation of Nigerians against corruption as well as system studies to block loop holes that entrench corruption in Nigeria.
He said to further strengthen the war against corruption in Nigeria, ICPC had extended its outreach to the universities and tertiary institutions in Nigeria, while also launching ethics and civics into the primary schools’ academic curricula in the country.
He said ICPC in 2012 had produced a “Teachers Guide” for teaching anti-corruption precepts in schools with a view to inculcating the spirit of anti-corruption in Nigerian students.
He told the Egyptian Ambassador also that ICPC has so far extended its war on corruption to visa racketeers as a means of preventing the forging of traveling documents in Nigeria.
He urged the Embassy of Egypt in Nigeria to always “request for the intervention of ICPC each time you get forged traveling documents from Nigerians.”
He promised to assist the Embassy in fishing out Nigerians with forged traveling documents while attempting to procure visa.