EFCC is poorly funded, the commission’s chairperson said.
The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba, has decried the poor funding of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by the executive arm of government.
Mr. Jagaba, who was speaking on Monday at the 2013 budget proposal defence by the Commission before the National Assembly, decried the non-release of budgeted funds to the EFCC by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“It is even more saddening when funds have been appropriated for the agency in the budget of the federation by the National Assembly and the funds are not released,” he said.
“We are not happy because if truly we want EFCC to work, EFCC must be funded properly. We cannot expect the EFCC to work with nothing. For instance, during the 2012 budget consideration, we discovered that nothing was proposed under Legal Services; the Committee then appropriated N200 million for legal services, but the executive said no to that. We are calling on those saddled with the release of budgeted funds to release the balance of your money under the 2012 budget,” he added.
The chairman pointed out that the EFCC proposal of N21.02 billion as against the N9.3 billion approved by the Budget Office of the Federation leaves a gap of N11.3 billion which could impact adversely on the operation of the agency.
He told the committee to note that “for 2013, the EFCC requested for N6.51 billion for personnel cost, and only N5.8 billion was appropriated by the Budget Office, leaving a short fall of N710 Million. Due to this short fall, the Commission would not be able to meet its personnel cost fully in 2013”.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Victor Lar, had on November 22, advocated proper funding of the anti-graft agencies if the war against corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria is to be taken seriously.
The Senator said that there is no harmony between the verbal pronouncements of the government and the financing of the EFCC.
While advocating for proper funding of the Commission, the senator said more needs to be done with regards to building capacity of staff of the EFCC.
“It is not in doubt that the expectation of the Nigerians on the direction, speed, scope, effectiveness in the fight against corruption rests with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission”, he declared.