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Lagos will create an anti-corruption commission

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By Florence Onuegbu

The Lagos state government is set to establish an anti-corruption commission, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu signing the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2021 on Monday.

Sanwo-olu said at the signing ceremony at Lagos House, Ikeja, that the decision was to deepen the culture of accountability and transparency in the spending of earmarked public funds.

He said that with the legislation in place, the anti-corruption commission, which would be formally established in the coming days, had been supported by the instrument of the law.

According to him, the commission should investigate and prosecute state government officials and deregistered contractors charged with economic crimes and embezzlement.

Sanwo-Olu said the action was a testament to the state government’s effort to entrench accountability in governance and verify malfeasance among public resource officers.

“The bill establishing the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is important legislation essential for the provision of quality services to citizens.

“When we arrived, we said we would be responsible in appropriating state resources.

“We want to stand in front of the citizens to be accountable for how public funds are spent.

To give faith to this promise, the executive arm launched the bill and sent it to the assembly for approval.

“We believe that this law would guarantee the responsibility of public funds, the responsibility of the public service, it will also promote dialogue between public officials to maintain the confidence of the people in the exercise of their functions with respect for transparency.

“The anti-corruption commission will ensure that all approved activities are implemented in accordance with the budget allocation,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said the anti-corruption commission would be independent in its operations and functions.

He said the agency would complement the efforts of similar law enforcement and federal establishment agencies.

In addition, the Governor approved the Lagos State Lottery and Gaming Authority Bill 2021, initiated by the executive arm to coordinate the activities of lottery agencies operating in the state.

He said the Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill 2021 aimed to simplify and integrate technological innovations in the gaming industry.

Sanwo-Olu said the law seeks to harmonize five gaming and lottery formats, such as casino, jackpot, pool, lotto and sports betting, thereby regulating the industry and verifying fraudulent activities of gaming centers. not registered in the state.

He said the old state lottery law did not meet the contemporary needs of the industry.

This, he said, was the reason the executive launched the bill to integrate technology into corporate regulation.

“As a forward-looking government, we are doing what is necessary to ensure that fair play, regulation and supervision are restored in the gaming industry.

“The law has no form to stifle investment, but to provide a better platform for lottery companies to improve fairness, transparency and make their investment more rewarding,” said the governor.

Sanwo-Olu reaffirmed that his government’s actions will continue to build public confidence and promote accountability in governance.

He thanked the President and members of the Assembly for cooperating with the executive branch and for consistently giving priority to executive bills aimed at ensuring good governance.

Justice Commissioner Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said the two bills signed by the governor amount to 10 executive-sponsored laws passed by the House of Assembly to strengthen good governance.

Onigbanjo said 26 executive bills have been launched since the creation of the current administration.

“The anti-corruption agency to be created is similar to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute embezzlement of public funds in the state.

The president of the agency will be appointed by the governor, subject to ratification by the House of Assembly.

“If the investigation results in a prima facie case, the offender will be prosecuted in court,” he said. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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