ACTING Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Umar, has said he did not know that the commission is entitled to getting five per cent of the money it recovers from its convicts.
Umar spoke on Wednesday in Abuja when he appeared before members of the House Committee on Financial Crimes.
The acting chairman said out of about N32 billion budgeted for the commission for the 2020 fiscal year, about N24.99 billion was released by the government, while about N18.23 billion of the released amount had been fully utilised.
He told the committee that the commission was not aware of the provision in the 2020 Appropriation, which granted the EFCC five per cent of all the funds it collected from recoveries for administrative purpose.
Some committee members noted that while other government agencies were facing financial crisis, the EFCC was having huge unspent funds.
A committee member, Abdulganiyu Olododo (APC, Kwara), insisted that the commission must be transparent about how it uses the money released to it.
Olododo said: “We want details of the expenditure by the commission. As one of the agencies respected and feared in the country, they need to be open and accountable in whatever they are doing.”
Other members of the committee also noted that spending only N17 billion out of the N21 billion released to the commission for personnel was an indication that it had more money with less personnel to pay.
Members of the committee also expressed concern over the poor release of capital budget to the agency.
Responding to questions on five per cent granted to the commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) from their financial recoveries, as approved by the National Assembly and contained in the 2020 Appropriation, Umar said: “I don’t think that has been approved, and we have not got anything outside the budgetary allocation and subsequent releases to the commission. The issue of five per cent is not really approved as far as we are concerned.”