Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Kayode Oladele, has pledged the support of the lawmakers to ensure that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is adequately funded to enable it discharge its duties effectively.
He made the promise during the EFCC’s budget defence before the committee members on February 8, 2016.
“The funding of the EFCC remains a priority for the government and we are here to ensure that you are well-funded,” he said.
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 Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, presented a budget proposal of N11,422,991,540 (Eleven Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Naira) to the Committee.
Magu noted that the Commission could not give a figure for its own personnel budget because “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 (Seven Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) for a staff strength of 2,173.
He, however, told the Committee, that the Ministry of Budget and Planning fixed the 2016 personnel cost at N6,664,040,791.00 (Six Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Forty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety One Naira) which represents a 6.5 per cent decrease or a differential of N463,275,563.00 (Four Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Sixty Three Naira).
“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.
“The EFCC currently pays about N200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) in rent per year because its offices are in different places and this poses challenges of space and security especially with regards to the safe keeping of official documents and proper human resource control,” he said.
Magu used the opportunity to appreciate the committee members for their promise to support the EFCC in its mission to rid the country of economic and financial crimes, stressing that the agency needed such support.