Agbakoba Calls For Accountability Of Public Funds At Local Governments

Remain Committed To Democracy, Agbakoba Tells Nigerians
A file photo of Dr Olisa Agbakoba

 

Human Rights Activist, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, has called for more accountability of Public Funds at the Local Government Level.

In a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Niyi Odunmorayo, Agbakoba noted that funds running into trillions of naira were unaccounted for.

According to the statement, Agbakoba had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, to stop the allocation of public funds to unelected and unaccountable Local Government Councils.

It further explained that the basis of the case is that Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution guarantees a system of democratically elected Government Councils, but Local Government Councils in Nigeria are never elected and are unconstitutional.

“Allocation of public funds to them is a violation of the Constitution, as there is collusion with State governments in the use of trillions of Naira of Public Funds.

“The current situation where most of the 774 Local Governments are unelected is not only unconstitutional but meant no development at the Local Governments,” the statement said.

Although the Federal High Court denied the case, it appears that Dr. Agbakoba’s concerns have found support with guidelines recently issued by the Nigerian Finance Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The new NFUI guidelines direct State Governors and Local Governments to follow the Constitution regarding disbursement of Local Government funds.

Kogi Governor To Probe His Predecessors

Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Ghost Workers, Corruption
Governor Bello says it is important to know how previous governments spent public funds

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has inaugurated a commission of inquiry to investigate the use of public funds from May 29th 2013 to January 27th 2016.

While inaugurating the members of the commission at the Government House in Lokoja, Governor Bello says he will also surrender himself to be probed by his successor after leaving office.

He charged the commission to avoid any means of victimization but should rather check how public funds were used within the stated period.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state,  Mohammed Ibrahim explained the relevant sections of the law that empowers the state governor to set up the probe panel.

The seven-man judicial panel of commission is headed by Justice Wada Umar Rano as its chairman.

While inaugurating the commission, Governor Bello said it has become necessary to look into the activities of the past administrations with a view of recovering stolen funds belonging to the state.

He mandated the commission to recommend measures that would prevent stealing of public funds while added that his administration is ready to put Kogi State on the path of development, urging the people to assist the commission in the discharge of its assignment.

Some experts however urge the commission to be honest and fair so as to avoid a witch-hunt.

EFCC Urges Institutions Heads To Be Transparent In Spending

efccThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Polytechnic Rectors and Provosts of Colleges of Education in the country to ensure prudent and transparent management of funds, especially Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the development of their institutions.   

At an interactive session on anti-corruption between the commission and Rectors of Polytechnics and Provosts of Specialised institutions organised by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) in Kaduna, the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, represented by the Head of Public Enlightenment, Osita Nwajah, noted that there had been complaints of mismanagement of IGR by heads of some educational institutions.

He also warned them to desist from such corrupt practices or face arrest and prosecution.

According to the NBTE, the regulatory body for polytechnics and specialised institutions, the number of petitions to the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on corruption against heads of such institutions had grown to an alarming proportion, and consequently affect the education sector.

This interactive session with EFCC officials was organised to sensitise the insitutions’ heads about the activities of the commission and how they can overcome

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Macjohn Nwaobiala, stressed the need to strengthen and reform institutions Procurement and Financial Management Systems and capacity development for anti-corruption units in institutions.

Some of the Rectors pointed out that fighting corruption does not just end only on money or finances, stressing the need for the government to take adequate care of retired public servants in order to ensure they would not embezzl public fungs. They also recommended effectively fund technical and vocational education in Nigeria.

The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated its determination to effectively fight corruption and recover all stolen public funds from corrupt public officials.

One of such strategies is to first of all educate public officials on how to be transparent and prudent.