The National Assembly Joint Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has counselled the Federal Government against starving anti-corruption agencies of funds so that they can perform optimally.
The joint committee gave the counsel on Tuesday during the 2020 budget defence of by the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Public Complaints Commission.
According to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who chaired the joint committee sitting, the only way the executive arm of government can show Nigerians that it is committed to the fight against corruption is by ensuring that anti-graft agencies get every fund due to them.
Members of the committee were taken aback when the CCB Chairman, Mohammed Issa and the Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, revealed that they had not received any capital vote since 2018.
The lawmakers also agreed that the three anti-graft agencies should enjoy 100 per cent funding from the federation account.
“Considering the current complaints about poor revenue accruable to the Federal Government, the budgets of the CCB, CCT and the PCC should be on first line charge under statutory transfers.
“We are going to communicate that to the Executive so that whatever is approved for them would be released to them 100 per cent so that they could do their work effectively. We need to do this to show Nigerians that we are serious about corruption war in this country”, Akinyelure said.
The committee also asked anti-corruption agencies in the country to probe a contractor who abandoned the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) since 2015 after collecting N1.5 billion as mobilisation fee.
Akinyelure wondered why the management of the CCB or any other agency of government had raised the alarm on the abandoned project.
He said: “The Federal Government paid N1.5bn to a contractor in a bid for the nation to have a befitting headquarters for the Code of Conduct Bureau in the Federal Capital Territory. As of 2015, the project was still at the foundation stage and nothing has been done since then.
“We want you (CCB) to furnish us with the project details, and if any refund has been made by the contractor. We expect the relevant anti-corruption agency to have started the probe of the contractor before now”
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