The House of Representatives has commended the financial discipline of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Efcc, and assured the anti-graft agency of improved funding under the current fiscal year to enable it effectively tackle corruption and revamp the nation’s economy.
The Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele, gave the assurance on Thursday, February 9, 2017 during the 2017 budget defence by the EFCC.
Oladele used the opportunity to underscore the need to remind Nigerians that the fight against corruption is one of the most potent weapons to fight recession which cause is rooted in waste, looting, misplacement of priorities and misappropriation of public funds.
“For the first time in Nigeria’s history, anti-corruption searchlights have been beamed on the judiciary and the revelations have been mind-boggling. In addition, similar exercises in the arms procurement process by the Nigeria military have also led to several arrests. Overall, the EFCC made the highest numbers of recoveries of stolen resources (running into billions of Naira) in a single year in the annals of Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts,” he said.
Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC, presented a budget proposal of N17,202,253,360.00 (Seventeen Billion, Two Hundred and Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixty Naira) for 2017.
The budget represents a 8.5% decrease in the Eighteen Billion Eight Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Five Hundred and Thirty One Thousand Six Hundred and Thirty Six Naira (N18,887,531,636.00) budgeted for the Commission in 2016.
Magu gave a breakdown of the budget thus: Capital Expenditure – Seven Billion, Seventy Four Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eight Naira (N7,074,223,708.00); Personnel Expenditure – Seven Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Four Naira (N7,127,316,354.00); and Overhead Expenditure -Three Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Eight Naira (N3,000,713,298.00).
This is in spite of the projected growth in the activities of the Commission with the recruitment of 1,500 cadets, proposed establishment of new zonal offices in Benin and Uyo, as well as the completion of the Commission’s Head Office Building.
The EFCC boss acknowledged the tremendous support given to the Commission in 2016, especially in the area of mobilization for completion of the EFCC Headquarters and appealed for considerations of the increased personnel cost to accommodate the newly recruited staff.
He also called for increment of capital cost to accommodate the cost of additional work in the construction of the Commission’s Head Office Complex, amendment of the provision for Discipline and Appointment-Service Wide Insurance, adjustment for provision of local training, as well as the creation of a budget code for the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
Magu cited as current concerns the insufficient funding received by the Commission; the fragmented nature of the EFCC offices in Abuja; automation of ICT systems; training and re-training of operatives and prosecutors as well as the length of time taken by courts to conclude cases brought before them.
At the session were the Chairman House Committee on Justice, Razak Atunwa and Chairman, Committee on Special Duties Nasiru Sani Zangon-Daura. Others Committee members include Aliyu Sani Madaki, Oghene Egoh Emmanuel, Randolph Brown, Ayodeji Joseph, Sunday Adeyemi Adepoju.
Magu was accompanied to the session by top management staff of the EFCC.