ICPC Raises Alarm Over Billions Of Fraudulent Yearly Budget Padding By MDAs
Says It Uncovered N49.9bn To Be To Ghost Workers In 6 Months
As the country awaits the 2023 budget , the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC , has raised the alarm that government ministries and agencies were padding yearly budgets with duplicate projects amounting to over 400 billon
ICPC disclosed this on Thursday that various ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs of the federal government padded the 2021 and 2022 with duplicated projects worth N400billion.
The anti-graft agency explained that the MDAs inserted duplicated projects worth N300billion into the N13.59trillion 2021 budget alone while they also padded the N17.12trillion 2022 budget with N100billion.
ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who made the revelations during the day-three
interactive session of the Senate Committee on Finance with MDAs on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF-FSP, added that another N49.9billion was tracked as salary for ghost workers between January and June this year.
According to him, the N300billion duplicated projects in the 2021 budget and N100billion in the 2022 budget were tracked through scrutinization carried out on approved projects for the various MDAs.
He said: “N300billion would have been wasted by the Federal government on duplicated projects inserted into the 2021 budget and N100billion for same purpose in the current fiscal year if not tracked and intercepted by ICPC.
“The same preemptive move , saved the country from spending N49.9billion for salaries of ghost workers put on fictitious pay roll by the fraudulent MDAs between January and June this year.
“Names of MDAs involved in projects duplications running into intercepted billions of Naira and fictitious pay rolls , are available and will be forwarded to the committee.
“The good thing about the preemptive moves made by us is that monies for the fraudulent acts were prevented from being released to the affected MDAs and it is gratifying that the Finance Ministry and Accountant General Office cooperated with us.”
Owasanoye advised relevant committees of the National Assembly to be on the look out for such projects duplication in the proposed N19.76trillion 2023 budget.
“From our own end, detection of such projects are done by verifying their locations and names, upon which we tell the appropriate authorities not to release wrongly budgeted monies for them,” he added.
Impressed by the submission, chairman of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), said the operational cost of the agency will be increased from N1.8billion.
“This committee is impressed by proactive ways your commission is adopting in the fight against corruption.
“Your submissions clearly show that all hope is not lost for our dear country as far as fighting corruption is concerned.
“Your operational cost which is N1.8billion will be increased as required impetus for more proactive measures against corrupt practices across the various MDAs,” Senator Adeola stressed.
PDP Crisis: Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Get Soft Landing
…..Party Rescinds Sanctions
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rescinded sanctions slammed on former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and ex-Senate President, Pius Anyim, over alleged anti-party activities.
Benue Governor Samuel Ortom, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina state and other party Chieftains also sanctioned got soft landings after a crucial meeting of the national working committee of the party yesterday in Abuja
Recall that the party top shots were suspended by the embattled Iyorchia Ayu leadership over alleged anti party activities
But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, yesterday Thursday, March 30, the party announced that its National Working Committee,NWC, has reversed the suspension of the party’s chieftains.
Ologunagba noted that the PDP NWC also reversed Governor Ortom’s referral to the party’s disciplinary committee.
He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today, Thursday, March 30, 2023, extensively discussed recent developments in the party.
“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive Party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general.
“Consequent upon the above, the NWC reverses the referral of the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee.
“The NWC in the same vein reverses the suspension of the following members of our great party: H.E Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State); Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State); Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State); Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).
“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017).
“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to be guided by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) as well as the new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity, and harmony in our party at this critical time.
“The PDP must remain focused as we continue to take every necessary action to recover the stolen mandate freely given by Nigerians to our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the PDP spokesperson stated.
DSS ING Alarm:Legal Means Can Be Deployed To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration- HURIWA
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday said there was nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop the inauguration of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 because the February 25, 2023 election that produced him is still being actively challenged in court by leading candidates in the poll.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the so-called alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday that some politicians are plotting an interim government should not be used as an obstacle to stop the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging Tinubu’s Victory
The DSS warning followed a petition by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo that the DSS should invite Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their rejection of Tinubu as the President-Elect.
Similarly, Atiku had earlier in March led a protest to the Abuja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the result of the February 25 poll declared by the electoral umpire.
Both Atiku and Obi alleged electoral malpractices in the poll and are in court to challenge the declaration of Tinubu as President-Elect by INEC.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Department of State Services should not rope in powerful opposition forces such as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar with a view to finding some frivolous charges to hang on their necks to frustrate their formidable petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.
“The DSS must work for all of Nigeria and not work as errand boys of Tinubu and his allies who only recently made claims that some persons want to stop his swearing in. By the way, there is nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop his inauguration because the election is being actively challenged. Nothing should be used as obstacles to obstruct Obi and Atiku’s petitions.
He advised that ,“The DSS should go after arm smugglers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists and leave politicking for politicians.”
Edo NUJ Felicitates Arase Over Appointment As Chairman PSC
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council has felicitated with Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector General of Police on his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
In a statement signed by the union Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, the union described the appointment as well deserved.
The union expressed optimism that Arase will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment to his father land.
The union prayed God Almighty to grant him the knowledge and wisdom to reposition the Police Service Commission for better service delivery.
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