The United States has urged the federal government to show more commitment towards fighting corruption by exposing and prosecuting corrupt public officers.
This was the focus of an interactive session with journalists at the US Embassy in Abuja chaired by an International Narcotics Law Enforcement Officer, Diane Kohn.
Ms Kohn said the United States remains willing to partner with Nigeria in fighting corruption but not much can be achieved if the government continues to drag its feet in going after guilty parties.
She attributes the security challenges in the country to youth restiveness owing to unemployment and ill equipped security personnel due to poor funding as a result of corruption.
“It (Corruption) also takes away economic opportunities for young people and as we have seen, when young people do not have economic opportunities that is legitimate, they would go for whatever opportunities that present themselves.
Ms Kohn further explained that corruption had an adverse effect on the economy and reiterated the commitment of the U.S government to assist Nigeria to stem the malaise. She added that the commitment to the fight against corruption would be in line with the United Nations’ Convention Against Corruption.
” The community of Nations has agreed that this is a problem.
“They have agreed that what the standards should be for transparency, for criminal codes, for criminal enforcement and for international cooperation.
“We are hoping that as time goes on we can work more closely with Nigeria to help confront this but that means Nigeria has to be willing to go after the corrupt officials.
The U.S. embassy official said corruption was a global challenge and that the international community was willing to assist Nigeria where necessary in the fight against the malaise.
Ms Kohn said that the U.S. would work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption organisations to improve investigative abilities toward prosecution of cases.
She said that would involve training of officials and judges in investigation, presentation and prosecution of cases of corruption.
She also advised Nigerians to cooperate with anti-corruption agencies to fight corruption and support the course of civil society organisations in the fight against the vice.
According to her, the media cannot relent in its war against corruption through the sharing of information obtained through investigation.