The House of Representatives yesterday uncovered about N6 billion unspent funds in the coffers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying the commission may have gotten too many budgetary releases to the detriment of other agencies.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Mohammed Umar, had told members of the House Committee on Financial Crimes that, out of about N32 billion budgeted for the commission for the 2020 fiscal year, about N24.99 billion was released by the government, while about N18.23 billion of the released amount has been fully utilised.
Umar however told the committee that his commission was not aware of the provision in the 2020 appropriation which granted them five percent of all monies collected by the commission from recoveries for administrative purposes.
Umar said “total releases as at September 2020 was N24.99 billion representing 70.8 percent of the total appropriation. The release for personnel cost is N21.98 billion, overhead cost, N2.100 billion and capital of N1.36 billion. Out of the total releases, N18.23 billion representing 74.88 percent has been fully utilised.
“A breakdown of the 2020 performance report shows that N24.99 billion was appropriated as personnel cost for the commission, out of which the sum of N21.397 billion has been released for the payment of salaries and allowances of staff between January and September, while the sum of N17.603 billion has so far been utilised as at the end of September 2020.
“The sum of N3.6 billion was appropriated for the commission’s overhead cost in 2020 out of which N2.1 billion has been released as at 30th September. The sum of N1.22 billion has so far been utilised.
“Similarly, the sum of N4.09 billion was appropriated for the commission’s capital budget out of which the sum of N1.638 billion has been released as at the end of September 2020. The procurement process of the 2020 capital project is still ongoing and the funds will be utilised as soon as the procurement process is over.
“N3.6 billion was proposed for overhead cost in 2020 and N2.1 billion released to you, while a total of N1.2 billion was utilised with a balance of N879 million and we are approaching the end of the year. Don’t you think there is a luxurious supply of funds, thereby denying other sectors getting enough money for their operations?
Some members of the committee however observed that while other agencies of government were facing financial crisis, the EFCC was having huge unspent funds, even as one of the members, Abdulganiyu Olododo (APC, Kwara) insisted that the commission must be transparent about how it has expended the money released to it.