The Senate has observed that the fight against corruption in Nigeria may be scuttled by the growing underfunding of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Chukwuka Utazi, who raised the concern during the budget defence of ICPC at the National Assembly Complex noted that poor budgetary allocation to the Commission would hinder ICPC from attaining its set targets.
He said, “If we want to fight corruption, we must fund the fight. You want to fight corruption without funding? It won’t work. Agencies like ICPC need to get into the consciousness of Nigerians. They need to do enlightenment and educate the people on the ills of corruption. This will help us to look at the ‘cause’ which is less expensive than what we are doing now by running after the corrupt.”
Mr. Utazi assured ICPC that the Senate would ensure improved budgetary allocation to the Commission.
His words, “There must be a total overturn in the budgetary process. We will make a case that you get what you deserve to do your work. We have done that for others before, so we will do it again.
‘We are going to see what the Committee will do. We will engage the relevant people concerned including our colleagues from the House of Representatives to look at the paltry sums being given to you.”
Earlier, the Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta, lamented that inadequate funding was hindering the performance of the Commission.
He told the Committee that some operations of the commission were delayed and others left unexecuted in 2016 because of insufficient funds even while they were captured in the budget.
The ICPC had submitted a budget proposal of N5.8 billion for 2017 to the National Assembly.