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Senate seeks improved funding for ICPC to fight corruption

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THE Nigerian Senate has sought improved funding for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) so as to enable it to carry out its statutory obligations.

According to a statement by ICPC Spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the appeal was made by Chairman of Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes Suleiman Abdu Kwari during the defence of the commission’s 2022 budget on Monday.

In the statement seen by The ICIR, Kwari was quoted as saying that ICPC was one of the few agencies of government carrying out a very special and critical national assignment and therefore needed to be funded adequately if it must rid Nigeria of corruption.

He also noted that, in view of how massive the mandate placed on ICPC by its enabling law was, the current envelope system of budgeting would constitute an impediment to the realisation of this huge task.

While advising the commission to remain focused on carrying out its mandate, Kwari pledged to do all that was required to ensure that ICPC’s budget was improved upon.

Also speaking at the budget defence, the member representing Kogi West Smart Adeyemi said that it was imperative to allocate enough resources to the ICPC so that the commission could expand its network in terms of physical presence across the nation.

Adeyemi added that having ICPC operatives at the grassroots or at each senatorial district would aid in checkmating corrupt practices at that level.

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He reiterated the Senate’s commitment to supporting improved funding for effective discharge of the commission’s mandate, saying that “whatever it will take to do that in terms of resources, we will support you.”

Reacting, ICPC Chairman Bolaji Owasanoye explained to the committee how the commission was empowered by enabling Act to carry out a three-pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention, and public enlightenment and education.

Owasanoye, while also acknowledging that the envelope system was a serious challenge, revealed that the effort to fight corruption was being escalated.

The chairman also said the ICPC was making efforts to get critical stakeholders, especially traditional rulers and professional bodies, to own the ICPC’s National Ethics and Integrity Policy.

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

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