32 entities stole over N1.3 trillion in four years, says Magu
Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has disclosed that 32 entities comprising individuals and corporate bodies stole over N1.3 trillion between 2011 and 2015. He stated this yesterday at the 2019 First Batch Conversion Training Programme for Procurement Cadre of Federal agencies and departments, organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in Lagos.
Magu, in a paper delivered through the Commission’s Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, decried the huge financial loss in the country, noting: “One third of the amount, using world bank rates and cost, could have built well over 500km of roads.”He said additionally, the money could build about 200 schools, 20,000 units of two-bedroom apartments across the country, educate 4,000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N25 million per child, and more.
“The cost of this monumental theft, therefore, is that the roads, schools and houses will never be built and the children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered what would have helped secure the lives of future generations to themselves, thereby depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others,” he stated.
He said the poor state of procurement process in Nigeria was one of the major reasons why corruption has continued to thrive in government agencies and departments. Magu noted that the training was aimed at giving participants the tools, knowledge and understanding they would need to carry out their duties in an efficient and transparent manner.
“I sincerely hope that at the end of this training, we will see a few cases of financial propriety in our procurement processes in ministries agencies and departments (MDAs). Indeed, corruption could kill Nigeria, if we do not scale up our proficiency in contract and procurement management process,” Magu said.
He pointed out that the establishment of EFCC in 2003 was due to Federal Government’s determination to combat fraudulent activities of some Nigerians and foreigners, mismanagement of the economic, corruption by public officials and lack of accountability and transparency in government business.
“Kickbacks, conflict of interests, fraud in the bidding process, bid suppression, collusive bidding, bid rotation and market division are some of the fraudulent practices in the nation’s procurement process. “Others are, co-mingling of contracts, change order abuse, cost mischarging, defective pricing, false statements and claims, phantom vendors, products substitution, unnecessary purchases and purchases for personal use or resale,” he said. Magu, however, expressed confidence that Nigeria still has patriotic and credible individuals who could do everything to uphold the credibility and honesty required for leadership in public office.
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