Posted by Chukwu David, Abuja | 23 October 2019 | 14,542 times
The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), yesterday, demanded a review of the salaries and other conditions of service of its staff to be the same with that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NFIU, Moddibo Hamnan Tukur, who made the request, also demanded salaries of operatives of the agency to be captured as sub-head under the yearly expenditure profile of the CBN.
He also noted that the budget of the apex bank for the 2020 fiscal year is about 10% of the N10.33 trillion national budget for the same financial, saying that while the total budget size projected for Nigeria in 2020 fiscal year is N10.33 trillion, that of the CBN is well above N1 trillion.
Tukur, who stated this during budget defence session of NIFU with the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, said that since NFIU is now domiciled in CBN albeit as an autonomous agency, its salary structure and condition of service should reflect that of the CBN 100%.
He said that though request to that effect by NFIU to President Muhammadu Buhari in line with its establishment Act, was honoured, it was not fully approved, urging the committee members to look into it.
“When we were with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as an intelligence unit, condition of salary and service applicable to operatives of the commission, were fully extended to us.
“When we were moved to CBN as stipulated by the Act, we expected the same operational and management procedure to follow fully, which is not the case presently.
“We firmly believe that this can be done if by the apex bank by just capturing our personnel costs as a sub-head under their expenditure profile on yearly basis,” he said.
He stated that operatives of the agency needed to be well remunerated to avoid being consumed by temptations that come their ways on a daily basis as regards millions of US dollars being tracked from monies fraudulently smuggled into the financial system.
“This morning alone, NFIU tracked and reversed $1.5 million of such fraudulent transactions. Some of the banks are in problem finding all means of getting out of it.
“A lot of money is being taken out of the energy sector within the radius of billions of dollars, but we are leaving up to the task of tracking and frustrating the financial fraud in line with our primary responsibility of assets tracing and tracking,” he said.
He lamented further that out of the N1.1 billion capital budget appropriated for the agency in 2019, only N400 million has just been promised to be released to it this week, which according to him, translated into zero per cent implementation for now.
He appealed to the committee chaired by Senator Suleiman Kyari (APC, Kaduna North), to help push for approval of the agency’s 2020 capital budget component of N4.2 billion.
He said that this was very necessary for the agency to finance the construction of its office in the Villa at the approved cost of N3.5 billion and give to the Supreme Court, N500 million as cost incurred from its building being used as temporary office.
His words: “The office site is in the Villa and the contractor is Julius Berger, everything has already been approved at the executive level, requiring appropriation from the National Assembly.”
However, a member of the committee, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye (APC, Ekiti South), described the capital budget projection of the agency for 2020 as too ambitious, having not been adequately funded in 2019.
He advised the agency to think outside the budgetary provisions in raising money through grants seeking from international donors.
“N4.2 billion as capital budget proposal for 2020 is too ambitious. Find ways by which you can meet some of your capital commitment outside the budget,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the committee assured the agency of required assistance in getting its salary structure to align with that of the CBN and approval for the projected N4.2 billion 2020 capital budget proposal. (New Telegraph)
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