House of Reps supports EFCC’s war against corruption

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The House of Representative’s Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, has pledged to support the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to be adequately funded to enable it discharge its duties effectively.

The Chairman of the Committee Kayode Oladele made the promise during the EFCC’s budget defence before the committee.

Acknowledging the important role of the anti-graft agency in executing President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, Oladele assured EFCC of an effective representation before the appropriation committee.

“The funding of the EFCC remains a priority for the government and we are here to ensure that you are well-funded,” he said.

The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, who presented a budget proposal of over eleven billion Naira (N11,422,991,540) to the Committee, noted that the Commission could not give a figure for its own personnel budget.

He said “the 2016 personnel budget template designed by the Ministry of Budget and Planning only made provision for detailed nominal roll without estimate and as such, the Commission was not in a position to justify the Ministry’s proposed figure”.

The personnel cost for the agency’s 2015 budget, according to Magu, was N7,127,316,354.00 for a staff strength of 2,173 but what the Ministry of Budget and Planning fixed the 2016 personnel cost at N6,664,040,791.00, which represents a 6.5 per cent decrease or a differential of N463,275,563.00.

“It’s a figure which could hamper the work of the Commission, especially because of a planned recruitment of additional 750 staff of different cadres in 2016,” he said.

Magu explained that the EFCC currently relied on seconded staff from the Nigeria Police Force because “the EFCC is a young organisation and it is cheaper to have seconded staff right now because their salaries are still being paid by the Police, but the plan is for EFCC staff to take over gradually”.

He used the opportunity to request for assistance in the completion of the EFCC’s head office building, noting that it had a completion period of 43 months, which was due in February 2015.

Nnenna.O