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President Buhari Allocates More Cash In War Against Corruption.
President Mohammed Buhari
The Federal Government has proposed to spend a total of N27.7 billion in 2016 on Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies.
The agencies are Economic and Financial Crime Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Others are the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, Public Complaint Commission, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Bureau of Public Procurement and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
PREMIUM TIMES analysis of the 2016 budget proposal showed that the N27.7 billion budgetary allocation to the agencies represents 3.1per cent increase, when compared with what was budgeted for them in 2015.
The nine anti-corruption agencies were allocated a total of N26.8 billion in 2015 under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Among the anti-corruption agencies, EFCC will receive what appears a hefty N11.2 billion, which represents 40.5 per cent of the N27.7 billion cumulative allocation to anti-graft agencies.
About N10.4 billion was allocated to the EFCC in the 2015 budget under the administration of Mr. Jonathan. Mr. Jonathan had, however, in 2014, budgeted N12.2 billion for the anti-corruption agency. But the country apparently had more revenue from crude oil sale at the time.
The entire 2016 budget proposal is N6.08 trillion.
President Buhari said the 2016 budget was developed around the benchmark price of $38 per barrel of crude oil and a production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day.
Another anti-corruption body, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission will also get more money in its coffers in 2016, when the budget is eventually approved by the National Assembly.
The FRC is allocated N494 million, which is N157million higher than the N336.8 million appropriated for it in the 2015 budget.
The proposed budget for the Bureau of Public Procurement in 2016 is N1.4 billion, as against N1billion in 2015.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives is expected to get N1.4 billion from the 2016 federal budget. In the 2015 budget, under Mr. Jonathan, N1billion was allocated to it.
However, President Buhari has proposed less money for other anti-corruption establishments in his 2016 budget.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s budget for 2016 fiscal year, for instance, has been slashed by N292.5 million.
The commission’s budget for 2016 is N4.6 billion, while that of 2015 was N4.9 billion.
The Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s budgets for 2016 have also been slashed by N98.6 million and N22.6 million respectively.
The CCB and CCT are allocated N2.2 billion and N784.3 million in the 2016 budget proposal, as against N2.3 billion and N806.9 million allocated to them respectively in 2015 budget.
The Public Complaint Commission’s budget in 2016 is N2 billion, whereas N2.5 billion was allocated to it in 2015.
The office of the Auditor General of the Federation, which is also significant in Nigeria’s fight against corruption, also has its budgetary allocation for 2016 reduced by government. The office will get N2.9 billion in 2016, compared to the N3.2 billion that was allocated to it in 2015.
Mr. Buhari, who defeated Mr. Jonathan in the March 28, 2015 general election, won the people’s hearts through his campaign for ‘change’ and a promise to fight corruption which has hindered prosperity in Africa’s largest economy.
Six months into the Buhari administration, the federal government has renewed the fight against corruption.
The government is currently investigating how billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the war against Boko Haram was allegedly diverted into personal bank accounts of politicians and other ‘Big men’ in Nigeria.
The president, in his 2016 budget speech said, “We have demonstrated a strong will to fight corruption.
“I am sure you will agree that the sheer scale of corruption and impunity of the past explains in part, the economic challenges we now face.
“On these initiatives, and the many more to come, we shall not be deterred. We will pursue the recovery of everything that belongs to the people of Nigeria. No matter where it is hidden. No matter how long it will take.”
Mr. Buhari said his administration was working on reducing the personnel cost of the federal government, so as to have a lean and cost-effective government.