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EFCC pledges special attention on MDAs using consultants to steal public funds

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CHAIRMAN of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has said there will be special attention on ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government that use consultants to steal public funds.

Bawa spoke at a meeting with Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) Victor Muruako and his team in Abuja last week.

Noting that some MDAs consistently undercut the government in terms of revenue remittance, Bawa said the EFCC would work with the FRC to block budget leakages and recover more than N1.2 trillion operating surpluses withheld by government parastatals.

He said the recovery of the said N1.2 trillion would go a long way to providing the government with funds for capital projects.

“There are a lot of leakages out there, while you are monitoring budget. I will want you to pay a special attention on consultants, all these Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) and all these Public Private Partnerships (PPP). There is a lot of corruption embedment behind the scene deals,” he said.

Bawa assured Muruako that the EFCC would work with the FRC to realise the objective of securing Nigeria from all forms of economic and financial crimes.

He also promised training support to boost the professionalism of FRC staff.

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Bawa added that EFCC knew the importance of the fiscal commission and the amount of information at its disposal.

A statement by the FRC Head of Strategic Communications Bede Anyanwu noted that Muruako identified the absence of enforcement powers in the commission’s enabling law as a major weakness hampering its efforts in enforcing fiscal transparency among agencies of government, and requested the intervention of the EFCC to enable it to achieve its mandate.

“Fiscal Responsibility Commission recognises that we can hardly achieve our key aim and objective of ensuring the long term stability of the nation’s economy without the assistance of your commission. For one, we believe that the credibility of the economic system in Nigeria is a prerequisite for achieving economic stability and this is where EFCC comes in,” Muruako said.

The FRC chairman also urged the EFCC to revisit the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two agencies with a view to expanding the frontiers of cooperation and collaboration.

He specifically called on the EFCC to assist in the training of FRC personnel to improve their capacity to effectively police what he called ‘blue-chip government agencies.’

 

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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