The House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption on Friday, January 27th, 2012 called for enhanced funding of the activities and operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba made this call at a meeting where the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde presented the Commission’s budget proposal to it.
A proposal of N10.9billion as allocated by the Budget Office of the Federation was presented. He specifically called for the intervention of the Committee to correct the zero allocation in respect of Legal services, Forensic Laboratory, Information and Communication Technology and Life Insurance for the staff of the Commission.
Lamorde said that: “The attention of the whole nation is on the EFCC to rise to the challenge of curbing corrupt practices in our midst. But we need to be funded adequately to do this. Zero budgeting in the critical areas of the Commission’s work requires your intervention” .He also called for better allocation of funds for the construction of the permanent office complex of the EFCC.
Jagaba expressed support for the work of the EFCC and assured the Commission of the cooperation of his Committee to address the shortfall in the allocation made for the EFCC by the budget office. “We know your needs. I want to assure you that we will address the problem. Government wants the EFCC to succeed; this is why it gave it a tasking assignment to handle recently. It is dangerous not to fund the EFCC adequately. To do so is to throw it up to the highest bidders and the corrupt and the end will not be good for all of us”, he said.
Other Committee members who were present at the sitting also corroborated Jagaba’s position. Honourable Emmanuel Menga Udende, Vice- Chairman of the Committee stressed the need to equip the EFCC in all areas, in order to empower it for optimum performance. Honourable Sheik Umar Abubakar said that the zero budgeting in the areas highlighted by Lamorde could be an error of omission. “It couldn’t have been deliberate”, he said.
He however called for an improved relationship between the EFCC and the Budget Office. Other Committee members at the meeting are Honourable Nasiru Sule Garo and Honourable John Dyegh.
Lamorde was accompanied on the budget defense meeting to the House of Representatives by the Secretary to the Commission, Mr Emmanuel Akomaye, Director of Organizational Support, Mr. Bolaji Salami, Director of Finance, Mr. Femi Jegede and other top officials of the Commission.