EFCC wants N21 billion to fight corruption in 2013

Channels Television  
Updated December 3, 2012

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Larmode on Monday said the commission is not able to meet the aspirations of Nigerians in carrying out its mandate of fighting corruption due to limited budgetary allocation.

Mr Lamorde was speaking during the budget proposal defence by the Commission before the House of Representatives’ committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes.

Mr Lamorde, presented a budget proposal of N21, 028,488,772.90 for 2013, before the National Assembly.

He gave the breakdown of the proposed budget as follows: Capital Expenditure: N11,412,803,582.50; Personnel Cost : N6,514,525,127,00; and Overhead Cost: N3,101,160,063.40.

Mr Lamorde said the EFCC proposal of N21.02 billion as against the N9.3 billion approved by the Budget Office of the Federation leaves a gap of N11.3 billion which could impact adversely on the operation of the agency.

He said: “for 2013, the EFCC requested for N6.51 Billion for personnel cost, and only N5.8 was appropriated by the Budget Office, leaving a short fall of N710 Million. Due to this short fall, the Commission would not be able to meet its personnel cost fully in 2013.”

Also speaking during the commission’s budget proposal defence, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Jagaba Adams Jagaba decried the poor funding of the EFCC by the executive arm of government.

He said “It is even more saddening when funds have been appropriated for the agency in the budget of the federation by the National Assembly and the funds are not released.” He said.

The lawmaker further said: “we are not happy because if truly we want EFCC to work, EFCC must be funded properly. We cannot expect the EFCC to work with nothing. For instance, during the 2012 budget consideration, we discovered that nothing was proposed under Legal Services; the Committee then appropriated N200 million for legal services, but the executive said no to that. We are calling on those saddled with the release of budgeted funds to release the balance of your money under the 2012 budget.”

It would be recalled that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Victor Lar had last month advocated proper funding of the EFCC if the war against corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria is to be taken seriously.

Mr Lar had said that there exists a want of harmony between the verbal pronouncements of the government and the financing of the fight against economic and financial crimes.

While advocating for proper funding of the Commission, the senator said more needs to be done with regards to building capacity of staff of the EFCC. “It is not in doubt that the expectation of the Nigerians on the direction, speed, scope, effectiveness in the fight against corruption rests with the economic and financial crimes commission”, he declared.