The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has disowned comments by the secretary of its board, Emmanuel Aremo, that it is broke and has less than N2 million left in its account.
Aremo, who led a delegation of the EFCC to the public hearing by the Senate committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes on the Bill to establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency, had said the commission urgently needed urgent injection of funds as it could barely pay staff salaries.
“If we can pay salary this month, that is all. That is the position under which we operate,” he told the Senate committee.
However, the commision’s head, media & publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said Wednesday that the report is a “gross misrepresentation” of what transpired at the hearing.
Uwujaren said “The mention of N2 million by Aremo was not in respect of the total financial health of the EFCC, but a direct response to a remark by the Chair of the Committee, Senator Victor Lar, to the effect that his committee had observed during an oversight visit to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU that it has no power generating set while its ceiling had caved in.”
He continued: “To this, Aremo remarked that the Commission had complained to the committee during the visit on the state of its finances and that the situation has not improved.”
He said the comment has no bearing whatsoever on the operations of the commission.
But Aremo had complained bitterly about the poor financial position of EFCC, saying the commission need urgent injection of funds.
He also kicked against the NFIU Bill, arguing that even as part of the EFCC, it was discharging its responsibility efficiently without complaints from financial institutions, adding that if granted autonomy, the unit would become exposed to desperate politicians capable of securing court injunctions to frustrate its operations.