Ibrahim Lamorde, Ag. Executive Chairman, EFCC, Femi Jegede, Head of Accounts EFCC, Bolaji Salami, Director, Organizational Support, EFCC during the Budget defence meeting with the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja recently.
The Senate CoAAmmittee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, decried the reduction of government’s allocation to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in the 2012 budget estimates. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Victor Lar, expressed this reservation at a Senate Committee meeting where the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde presented the EFCC’s budget proposal to it.
A proposal of N10.9billion as allocated by the Budget Office of the Federation was presented. This represents a 51% reduction in the overall N21.8billion request made by the EFCC. Lamorde gave a breakdown of the budget thus: “Personnel costs: N 6 billion, Overhead costs: N 1.7 billion, Capital N3.1billion; giving a total of N10.9 Billion. It is important to note that for the 2012 budget, we requested for 21.8 billion from the Budget office of the Federation out of which only 10.9 Billion was allocated”.
Senator Lar said that the reduction of the allocation to the EFCC was un-warranted:“This does not make them have operational vehicles, the protection of the lives of the operatives and those sent out is not guaranteed and I think that government must take a more realistic look at the approach and the budgeting system for the agencies charged with the responsibility to fight corruption”.
He said that a situation where government proposed a budget of over N4 trillion for the entire nation but only allocated a miserly N40 billion for all the agencies fighting corruption was unrealistic. He wondered why EFCC was offered N13.8billion in 2011 and N10.9billion in 2012. He expressed the Senate’s determination to ensure improved funding of the EFCC. He also advocated financial autonomy for the EFCC as well as the re-instatement of a Life Insurance policy for all EFCC staff.
According to him, “those of us that were privileged to watch the carnage and nature of the protests that Nigerians embarked upon during the fuel subsidy removal strike, noted that there was an underlying mistrust and suspicion that ran through all the comments made by everybody in the streets which was corruption, corruption and corruption. Corruption was and still is the base of that mistrust and the mandate to curb corruption, reduce it and exterminate it completely rests with the EFCC. As a Committee, we shall support you to deliver on this mandate”.
Lamorde, while presenting the budget estimate to the Committee on Drugs, appealed to the Senate to intervene by reinstating the exact amount requested from the government by the EFCC. The cuts in the budget, according to him, will hinder the successful execution of the EFCC’s mandate in all ramifications
Lamorde further told the Committee that no allocation was made for ICT/Forensic Laboratory equipment, as well as legal services and insurance premium in the proposal. This, he said, will negatively affect activities of the Commission in 2012.
After the presentation, the Senate Committee expressed its interest to promote the independence of the EFCC by enhancing its funding structure through the amendment of its Establishment Act.
The presentation was attended by Senators Victor Lar (Chairman), Uche Chukwumerije, Mohammed Sani Sale, Umaru Dahiru and Udo Adekunle; while the EFCC team was led by its acting chairman Ibrahim Lamorde and top management staff.
Ibrahim Lamorde, Ag. Executive Chairman, EFCC, flanked by the Senate Committee Chairman, Sen. Victor Lar and Sen. Mohammed Sani Saleh, member, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes during the Budget defence meeting at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja recently.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
24th January, 2012