ICPC accuses Imo, Zamfara, Bauchi of diverting bailout funds
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has accused Imo, Zamfara and Bauchi States of diverting the bailout funds released to them by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The ICPC made the accusation on Friday in a report on its investigation of the utilisation of the bailout funds approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to help state governments offset salary arrears of workers, which was presented by its spokesman, Edet Ufot in Abuja.
According to the ICPC report, 16 states were also yet to disburse about N57, 663, 185, 735 out of the bailout funds approved for them, while Kogi, Bayelsa and Sokoto States were said to have yet to either collect or utilise their own funds.
The anti-graft agency noted that it embarked on the investigation in 23 states in line with its Prevention mandate, welcoming to use the same initiative.
According to the report, some of the states that have not fully utilized their bailout funds are: Adamawa (N7,200,000,000); Bauchi (N195,011, 616m); Benue (N1,650, 084,000.520); Cross River (N4,715, 516, 959); Ekiti (N390,613, 747m); Katsina (N8,574,415,469); Gombe (N4, 361, 119,848.27); Ondo (N1, 537,575,050.32); Osun (N16, 311,765,418); Plateau (N26, 980,938.85m); Kwara (N29,862,014.92m); Oyo (N1,111,652, 408.40); Delta (2,806,911,019.50); and Kebbi (N4,463,975,420.27).
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The report reads in part: “As part of the Federal Government’s effort to end the lingering crisis of unpaid workers’ salaries in most states of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a comprehensive relief package designed to salvage the situation through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Special Intervention Fund which offered affected states’ soft loans solely for the purpose of paying the backlog of salaries.
“Whereas the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is yet to officially confirm this to the commission, the 27 benefiting states from the open sources are: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“Following strident allegations of diversion of these bail-out funds and to avoid industrial unrest, ICPC in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) decided to monitor the disbursement of the bailout funds in the 27 benefiting states. However, relying on available sources we could only cover 23 states.
“It is important to note that the monitoring exercise report and probable updates are being released to the public by the ICPC to foster understanding between workers and the state governments by providing a transparent process that eliminates information gaps that often lead to rumour-mongering.
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