Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Senator Victor Lar has commended the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in projecting the image for Nigeria through the fight against economic and financial crimes.
He made the commendation on Friday, February 27, 2015 at the 2014 budget defence by EFCC, before the National Assembly.
Senator Lar who recalled that the picture was bleak four years ago when the seventh National Assembly was inaugurated, with Nigeria listed among the five most corrupt nations of the world, enumerated the milestones recorded in the fight against corruption since 2011. “Today, by the special grace of God, Nigeria has not only been delisted from the Financial Action Task force, FATF’s target, but are being considered for membership of FATF. The second after South Africa” Lar said.
He expressed delight over the 126 convictions recorded by the EFCC in 2014 which he said was a significant improvement on the 87 and 117 recorded in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Senator Lar said that contrary to insinuations in some quarters that, the war against graft had been compromised under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the present administration has fought corruption more than any other administration in this country.
“Under his administration, the various agencies have secured more convictions against corrupt officials and economic saboteurs”, he said.
The lawmaker reiterated the determination of the Senate to amend the enabling laws of the anti-corruption agencies to put them on first line charge saying, “we are signing off with the acknowledgement of the need to amend the enabling laws of ICPC, EFCC, NDLEA to put them on first line charge”.
The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde presented a budget of Nine Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Naira (N9, 589,748,795.00) to the Committee.
Lamorde gave the breakdown of the proposed budget as follows- Capital Expenditure: Five Hundred and Forty Two Million, One Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Six Naira (N542,199,776.00); Personnel Cost: Seven Billion, Fifty Three Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty Six Naira (N7,053,942,866.00); and Overhead Cost: One Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,993,200,000.00).
He pointed out that, the EFCC proposal of Nine Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Naira (N9, 589,748,795.00) as against Nine Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Five Naira (N9, 479,748,795.00) approved by the Budget Office leaves a gap of One Hundred and Ten Million Naira which could affect the operation of the agency.
Also the 2015 budget proposal of the agency is a marked decline from the N12, 245,369,169 which was appropriated for it 2014.
Other members of the Committee who witnessed the budget defence of the EFCC were the Vice Chair of the Committee, Senator Ayoola Agboola, Senator Mohammed Sani Sale, Senator Abubakar Sadiq Yar’Adua, and Senator Kunle Boluwaji.
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