Anti-Corruption War ‘ll Soon Move To The Petroleum Sector -EFCC | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Anti-Corruption War ‘ll Soon Move To The Petroleum Sector -EFCC

Posted: Feb 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said on Monday that the oil and gas industry would be among its next set of sectors to be investigated for alleged corrupt practices.

The Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, spoke in Abuja as he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the commission’s 2016 budget proposals.

He, however, avoided giving direct answers to questions on whether the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, would be under the searchlight of the agency.

Magu merely responded to such questions by saying that “the commission will soon move into the petroleum sector.”

But, he called on the National Assembly to support the efforts of the agency by making more funds available for its operations.

For example, he said at a time the commission was stepping up the anti-graft war, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning cut its overhead by over N1billion this year.

Madu disclosed that while the EFCC proposed N2.9bn for overhead, the ministry slashed it to N1.3bn, a figure he said represented a shortfall of N1.6bn, “or 116 per cent.”

He complained that the budget cut would affect the operations of the agency, particularly investigations into corruption allegations.

“The areas that will be adversely affected are investigative activities, manpower development and maintenance of logistics.”

Although, he admitted being aware that government’s revenue had dwindled due to a sharp fall in crude oil prices, Magu argued that corruption-fighting was capital-intensive.

He appealed to the committee to consider approving additional N500m for “operational activities as more sectors of the economy may likely come under investigative activities during the year.”

Magu also spoke of plans by the agency to recruit 750 personnel this year in its bid to build its core members of staff and reduce the number on secondment from other organisations.

Ironically, the budget ministry cut the EFCC’s personnel cost for this year by 6.5 per cent.

In 2015, the personnel cost for 2,173 employees was N7.1bn.

But, in the 2016 budget, the budget ministry reduced it to N6.6bn, a decrease of “N463.2million.”

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Kayode Oladele, nonetheless, made promises that the House would look into the complaints of the EFCC.

He said, “As we all know, the current economic downturns have drastically reduced projected earnings for the 2016 fiscal year.

“Despite the paucity of funds, the funding of the EFCC remains a priority for the government.

“The committee shall support the vision of elevating the EFCC to sustain the current anti-corruption crusade. “