© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
SURE-P vehicles, UBEC funds, uncompleted buildings… the N30bn assets recovered from public officials by ICPC
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has recovered a total of N29.77billion stolen by Nigerian civil servants across different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) between 2006 and 2017.
According to a record of recoveries made available by the commission on its official website, these recoveries include farmland, plots of land, uncompleted and completed buildings and cash.
Out of the total amount, N3.08 billion was recovered in cash while N3 billion has been returned to the MDAs from where they were embezzled.
According to the document, one recovered farmland, a 10-hectare of land located in Kuje Area Council of Abuja was valued at N50million, while N415 million worth of plots of land, N1.4billion worth of uncompleted and N1.3billion worth of completed buildings were also recovered.
In all, the ICPC recovered 62 plots of land within the years in review — located in Abuja, Nasarawa, Osun and Rivers states — six completed buildings in Abuja, Lagos and Akwa Ibom states, and five uncompleted buildings in Abuja, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom states.
Nineteen vehicles were also recovered – 14 of these were for the Subsidy Re-investment and Employment Programme (SURE-P), which government officials went away with after the dissolution of SURE-P.
Government agencies and ministries from where monies were stolen and recovered include the Federal Revenue Inland Service (FIRS), Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Interior.
The document also shows the gross abuse of the Universal Basic Education fund by officials of state governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), as well as those at the Headquarters of the fund, UBEC, Abuja.
The Federal Government established UBEC in 2004 as an interventionist agency to provide funds and infrastructure for the basic education development in the country. But despite Nigeria having the highest number of out of school children in the world — 10.5million as of 2017 — ICPC recovery revealed how, between 2006 and 2011, a total of N296.4million was stolen by officials of the states’ UBE.
The states are Niger, Lagos, Borno, Abia, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Bauchi, Imo, Ogun, Kogi and Taraba.
Others are Plateau, Kano, Delta, Enugu, Osun and Ebonyi. Out of all these states, 23 officials of Borno State Universal Basic Education were involved, while seven officials of UBEC headquarters were also involved in separate stealing of the public fund.
The commission made its biggest recovery in 2015 with the recovery of N1.03billion, followed by 2015 during which it recovered N869.5milllion.
A total of 92 cases are still ongoing at different stages and at different courts across the country.
However, one curious aspect of the ICPC’s document is that no ‘high-profile’ name in the Nigerian public sector featured on the list.