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2021 Budget defence: EFCC, ICPC guzzle N119.736 billion in 4 years

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), have spent over N119.736 billion budget between 2018 to 2021 under three headings of capital, personnel cost and overhead, thus making the two anti-graft agencies the most expensive to run in Africa.

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The humongous budget, however, include the 2021 currently under consideration by the upper and lower Chambers.

The amount considered too high was lamented by the Senate Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, saying that there were lopsidedness in budgetary allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, by the Budget Office.

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He spoke at a hearing on Tuesday at the 2021 budget for the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, where the Committee discovered abysmal allocation to the agency considered strategic in auditing about 600 government agency’s accounts, while other agencies have oversized budget to spend in 2021. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Chairman explained that the Parliament approved the sum of N104,543,900,280 for EFCC including its 2021 appropriation before the National Assembly.

He said the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation spent the sum of N15,192,654,063, saying that “Buhari government deliberately weakened the agency to reduce its capacity to audit MDAs’ accounts.

Urhoghide’s complaints was further deepened by the budgetary allocation of the sister anti graft Independent Corrupt Practices Commission with a budgetary allocation of N30.111 billion in four years including its 2021 appropriation before the National Assembly.

His concern was further precipitated by the Office of the Auditor General’s 2021 which stood at over N4.691 billion, wondering how could the paltry sum cater for several challenges confronting the the AuGF’s office, particularly that the office need fund for the performance of specialised audit which was also in the year 2021 budget proposal for the office.

The lawmaker said: “That it is an irony that while the Office which is constitutionally established to ensure transparency in the management of public funds of the Federation is having a reduced allocation, while similar agencies established to achieve a fraction of this objective are being well funded through incremental budgetary allocations.

“That the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation is need of replacing 247 retired staff which has not been provided for in the budget proposal.”

Reacting to the interrogation by the panel, Director General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze explained that the office was constrained by the template handed over to them by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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