By: Edegbe Odemwingie
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday in Abuja said that despite several appeals for fund release, the agency has been starved of funds to finance its operations.
EFCC’s Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Adegboyega told the Victor Lar Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption that the Commission was presently broke with less than N2 million in its account.
“I could recollect when the committee paid us (EFCC) an oversight visit and I did make our financial position known to the Committee. As at now, EFCC does not have N2 million in its account. We don’t have money.” the EFCC Executive Secretary told the Senate panel.
He added: “We (EFCC) have been complaining that no money has been released for us for operations. As at now, we don’t have up to N2 million. If we can afford to pay salary this month, that is all. That is the position under which we operate.
The EFCC has also kicked against the creation of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency (NFIA), on the grounds that in line with recognised best practices, such agencies should remain a “secret” agency under an existing anti-corruption agency.
EFCC’s presentation by its Executive Secretary, again faulted the “regulatory” powers granted the proposed Nigeria Financial Intelligence Agency.
He said the Financial Intelligence Agency if independent with enabling laws, will be exploited by corrupt persons to open a floodgate of injunctions, retraining orders and other litigation to stall anti-corruption trials.
“The Bill is unnecessary and we should jettison it,” EFCC’s Executive Secretary told the Senate panel.