Posted by News Express | 26 October 2021 | 551 times
The Senate on Monday faulted the Federal Government on its policy directive, mandating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to transfer all forfeited assets of crimes to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) for management.
The apex legislative Assembly expressed its displeasure when the anti-graft agency appeared before its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes for the 2022 Budget defense.
Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) had raised the matter, pointing out that it was wrong for the Office of the Attorney-General to be in possession of the forfeited assets of crimes.
He argued that the assets needed to be disposed of for the government to raise money to finance the budget.
The Chairman of the EFCC, who was represented by the Director of Finance, Gamma Joda Mohammed, told the Committee that the EFCC acted in line with the policy directive issued since 2019, that all final forfeited assets should be transferred to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for proper management.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee on Anti- Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Sulaiman Kwari, said that the EFCC Bill on asset management currently before the National Assembly aimed at addressing the abnormalities in the management of the final forfeited assets from crimes.
The Committee also expressed concerns about the poor funding of the EFCC, urging the Federal Government not to pay lip service to the fight against corruption in the country.
While defending the 2022 budget of the agency, the Director of Finance said that the total fund proposed for the agency in 2022 was N31.3 billion, out of which N25.8 billion was earmarked for personnel cost, N3.6 billion for overhead while the sum of N1.8 billion was for capital expenditure.
Also, the Director of Operations of the EFCC, Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol, while speaking on the operations of the Commission, said that the agency had only 15 offices across the federation including the headquarters in Abuja.
The Committee, after listening to the submissions by officials of EFCC, promised to increase the Commission’s budget to enable it to execute its cure mandate.
Also the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) by its Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, defended the Commission’s budget before the Committee.
Prof. Owasanoye said that the total budget proposed for ICPC in 2022 was N12.9 billion, out of which N9.8 billion was for personnel cost, N1.8 billion for overhead while only N1.3 billion was for capital expenditure.
Another agency that appeared before the Committee was the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) headed by Mr Tukur Modibo, who complained bitterly about the N350 million capital fund allocated to his agency in the 2022 budget.
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