Olukoyede defends EFCC’s budget proposal, seeks more funding for operations

 


Ola Olukoyede, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the agency needs improved funding to carry out its operations.

 

Olukoyede spoke on Tuesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee on financial crimes, to defend the agency’s 2024 budget proposal.

 

The EFCC chairman said the anti-graft agency needs more resources to execute its mandates to avoid criticism from Nigerians and the parliament for performing below expectations.

 

“From the realistic point of view, what we think will be good for us to work because if we ‘manage’ to investigate and prosecute crime, you (lawmakers) will also ‘manage’ to abuse us that we are not working,” he said.

 

 “So, we don’t want to receive such an attack (criticisms) from you and we don’t want to ‘manage’ that is why we increased it (capital expenditure) to N25 billion that we think will suffice for us to operate in the year 2024.”

 

2023 BUDGET PERFORMANCE

 

While providing updates on the 2023 budget performance of the commission, Olukoyede said N26.835 billion was appropriated as the personnel cost of the agency.

 

The EFCC chairman said N28.452 billion out of the amount representing 77 percent has been released for the payment of salary and allowances of staff of the commission between January and November.

 

“This includes the payment of non-regular staff. Of course, we have staff who are on contract and we have other personnel who are on secondment in the employment of the commission within the period,” he said.

 

For overhead cost, he said N7.024 billion representing 67 percent of the N10.535 billion approved for the commission has so far been released.

 

Olukoyede said the overhead cost was spent on the commission’s “critical operations”, including local travels and tours, maintenance of office buildings, motor vehicles and office equipment, training, and publicity and advertisement.

 

The EFCC boss said the N2.53 billion budgeted for the commission as capital expenditure is yet to be released to the agency.

 

“We have to report to you that so far there have been no releases at all for capital in 2023,” he said.

 

He added that the capital projects executed in early 2023 were the 2022 capital projects rolled over to 2023.

 

2024 BUDGET PROPOSAL

 

Olukoyede said the commission’s total budget estimate for 2024 is N76.586 billion, while the budget office proposed N43.109 billion.

 

He said N37.074 billion of the total budget will be earmarked for personnel costs.

 

For overhead costs, the EFCC chairman said the budget office proposed N4.794 billion but the commission wants it increased to N14.513 billion to help the agency carry out its mandate.

 

He said the commission is proposing N25 billion as capital cost because the N1.241 billion recommended by the budget office “will not do anything” for the agency.

 

According to him, the 2024 proposed estimate of N76.586 billion represents a 53.48 percent increase above the 2023 appropriation of N49.901 billion.

 

“This increase is solely attributable to the increase in personnel cost from N36.834 billion to N37.074 billion in 2024,” he said.

 

“Of course, our operation keeps expanding and we also envisage that we are going to bring in more staff in the year under review.

 

“We have overhead cost from N10.535 billion to N14.513 billion in 2024 and capital cost from N2.531 billion to N25 billion in 2024. This has come about because of the expansive projects we are going to embark on.

 

“Quite a number of our zonal offices are in rented apartments and of course when you are doing this kind of work it is not expedient for you to operate in a rented apartment

 

“So we intend to get our own building across our 14 zonal offices where we operate outside Abuja.”

 

Olukoyede said the request for additional funds for overhead is due to the “high cost” of operation and inflation.

 

Ginger Obinna, chairman of the committee, said the panel will look at the proposal of the anti-graft agency and make recommendations.

 

Obinna also has asked the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to collaborate with the committee in information sharing.

 

Speaking when Modibo Tukur, NFIU director-general, appeared before the committee for budget defence, Obinna said the agency should improve its fight against financial crimes.

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