The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has requested for the support of the lawmakers to ensure that the commission is adequately funded to enable it discharge its duties effectively.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, presented a budget proposal of N11,422,991,540 (Eleven Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Naira) to the Committee.
Magu noted that the Commission could not give a figure for its own personnel budget because “the 2016 personnel budget template designed by the Ministry of Budget and Planning only made provision for detailed nominal roll without estimate and as such, the Commission was not in a position to justify the Ministry’s proposed figure.”
The personnel cost for the agency’s 2015 budget, according to Magu, was N7,127,316,354.00 (Seven Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) for a staff strength of 2,173.
Magu told the committee, why defending the EFCC’s 2016 Budget, that the agency should be supported to hire additional 750 employees in different cadres.
Magu also sought the backing of the committee to consider and approve “additional N500,000 million to assist in our operational activities as more sectors of the economy may likely come under investigative activities during the year.”
Magu explained that the EFCC currently relied on seconded staff from the Nigeria Police Force, because “the EFCC is a young organisation and it is cheaper to have seconded staff right now because their salaries are still being paid by the Police, but the plan is for EFCC staff to take over gradually.”
He used the opportunity to request for assistance in the completion of the EFCC’s head office building, noting that it had a completion period of 43 months which was due in February 2015.
“The EFCC currently pays about N200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) in rent per year because its offices are in different places and this poses challenges of space and security especially with regards to the safe keeping of official documents and proper human resource control,” he said.
Magu used the opportunity to appreciate the committee members for their promise to support the EFCC in its mission to rid the country of economic and financial crimes, stressing that the agency needed such support.