N42bn personnel cost for 2019 was blocked from being stolen – ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has revealed how it prevented Federal health and educational institutions from stealing or misapplying N42bn unspent surplus allocation in the 2019 budget.

The commission also said it stopped officials from misapplying N31.8bn personnel cost surpluses for 2017 and 2018, and N19.8b and N9.2b from personnel cost and capital fund respectively.

The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, disclosed this on Wednesday, during a virtual interactive forum with Directors of Finance and Accounts of some agencies of the Federal Government with the theme: ‘Transparency and Fiscal Discipline in Implementation of FGN Budget’.

Owasanoye noted that the ICPC could have saved the public more money if it had covered the entire Civil Service structure and not just 208 agencies.

He stated, “In 2019, ICPC reviewed 208 agencies of government that are funded from the federal treasury and came up with outstanding results, which included discovery of N31.8b personnel cost surpluses for 2017 and 2018, and misapplication of N19.8b and N9.2b from personnel cost and capital fund respectively.

“Consequent on these findings, N42b unspent surplus allocations for personnel cost for 2019 alone was blocked from possible abuse and pilfering mostly from health and some educational institutions.

“This implies that if we had covered the entire civil service structure of all MDAs, the figures would be staggering.”

In 2020, he explained that the anti-graft agency extended the review with more focus on the health and education sectors, adding that it also commenced a review of educational institutions indicted in the 2017 Auditor-General’s Annual Audit Report for a wider range of financial infractions.

In response to the ICPC findings, Owasanoye explained that the government set up the Transparency Portal Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee with ICPC as a member.

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