Fayemi, ICPC differ on security votes as EFCC probes fraud in N-SIP
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) have differed on security votes for states chief executives in the country.
While Fayemi noted that security votes for states were legal and constitutional, insisting that it could not be abolished, the ICPC described security votes for governors and other agencies as an easy and attractive route for stealing public funds.
ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye made his submission yesterday in Abuja at a one-day policy dialogue on accountability for security votes organised by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN).
He said security votes for governors and government agencies was also an avenue for abuse of public trust, escalation of poverty, underdevelopment and insecurity, insisting that appropriation for security votes has increased rather than reduced insecurity.
“Money that should be available for social and economic development is appropriated as security votes and used with the discretion of governors,” he said
Owasanoye alleged that the numbers and categories of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) given security votes in the 2019 Budget suggest that something was wrong with the parameters for determining their entitlement to security votes.
However, Fayemi, who is the Governor of Ekiti State, said: “There is no place in the world where security expenditures are subjected to public debate, for obvious reasons.
“I hope this meeting will come up with international best practice on how security votes should be managed, but not on whether we should have security votes because I don’t see the use of dealing with that.
“There is widespread belief that the appropriation of security votes in Nigeria is unconstitutional and illegal. This is not correct.”
Meanwhile, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has restated its resolve to ensure transparency in implementing the ideals of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) in the North East.
“There are complaints across board of the beneficiaries collecting monies, while others are using proxy companies to siphon public funds, and this will not be tolerated,” he said.
Magu, who spoke through the Head, EFCC Maiduguri Zonal Office, Lawrence Iwodi, at the 14th Situation Room in Maiduguri, Borno State, also urged N-SIP beneficiaries to report any person(s) engaging in fraudulent activities through the programme.
“The public is hereby warned to desist from fraudulent acts, as the EFCC will not relent in investigating and prosecuting offenders in the school feeding and other programmes of N-SIP,” Magu said in a statement.
The EFCC, Maiduguri zonal office also preferred a four-count charge against Mohammed Danladi, Adam Abdulhamid and Danladi Global Concept Nigeria Limited for obtaining money by false pretense and issuing a N13m dud cheque.