The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPS uncovered over N400 billion fraud in 2021, 2022 budget, ENigeria Newspaper reports.
The ICPC disclosed on Thursday that the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies inserted duplicate projects worth N300 billion to the N13.59 trillion 2021 budget.
Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the anti-graft agency’s chairman, revealed during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Finance that some MDAs had duplicate projects worth N100 billion inserted into the N17.12 trillion 2022 budget, including N49.9 billion in ghost worker salaries between January and June of this year.
ENigeria Newspaper reports that the N300 billion in duplicate projects in the 2021 budget and the N100 billion in the 2022 budget, according to Owasanoye, were tracked through scrutiny of projects that were approved for the various MDAs.
According to the head of ICPC, “If not traced and intercepted by ICPC, three hundred billion naira would have been spent by the Federal Government on duplicated projects put into the 2021 budget and N100billion for the same purpose in the present fiscal year.
“The same preemptive move saved the country from spending N49.9billion for salaries of ghost workers put on fictitious pay rolls by the fraudulent MDAs between January and June this year.”
Owasanoye added that the committee would be given access to the names of MDAs implicated in project duplications.
“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,” he said.
He urged the National Assembly’s relevant committees to keep an eye out for such project duplication in the planned N19.76 trillion 2023 budget.
“From our end, detection of such projects is done by confirming their locations and names on which we inform the relevant authorities not to disburse erroneously budgeted funds for them,” he continued.
Senator Olamilekan Adeola, the chairman of the Senate Committee, expressed satisfaction with the development and announced that the agency’s operating expenses will rise from N1.8 billion.
“This committee is impressed by the proactive approaches your commission is implementing in the battle against corruption,” Olamilekan continued. Your contributions amply demonstrate that there is still hope for our beloved nation in the fight against corruption.
Your operational cost of N1.8 billion would go up to provide the necessary motivation for more proactive measures against corrupt activities within the several MDAs.
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