President Muhammadu Buhari looks very happy on Friday afternoon to receive report from the presidential panel set up to investigate Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
While receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Investigation of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC headed by Justice Ayo Salami (Rtd), at State House, Abuja, President Buhari said thus:
“Corruption is present in all countries. Some Governments treat it with levity. Some fight it all the time. I want Nigeria to be counted among those countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption.”
”However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touches on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes. It is an abomination that strikes at the root, and undermines the Government’s anti-corruption programme”.
It is only a corrupt manager that needs agency like EFCC to show off as if he/she is willing to address financial fraud.
The President willingness to fight corruption to a stand still start from the budget; the way tax payers naira are recklessly and excessively allocated in a stealable manner at federal level makes the continuous existence of EFCC a mockery.
EFCC since 2003 it was established deviated from its original intention to investigate advance fee fraud and money laundering.
It has since become the personal tools of the president for the intimidation, oppression and harassment of political enemies.
Advanced fee fraud and money laundering crimes have taken worsening dimension since the advent of EFCC in Nigeria.
Some of the EFCC personnel instead of going to the rivers by themselves to fish, they reportedly go after the fishermen, robbing them off some belongings.
They go after Yahoo boys as a way to create false impression and artificial fight against corruption.
All the four chairmen of EFCC starting from Nuhu Ribadu were all thrown out of office on the bases of corruption and seemingly obvious failure to promote and protect the personal interest of the president.
Nothing should be surprising to see Ibrahim Magu as EFCC boss being tried for corruption.
Because the financial budget given to him to manage have a lot of loopholes and possibilities to steal.
Successive government in Nigeria always create room for possible promotion of corruption in yearly Budget.
Nigeria financial system is like giving a rat many fishes to pass over to the people; and at the same time sending many more rats to help watch over the fish.
What do you expect, the rats confidently eat the fish and watch one another’s back. Any betrayal becomes the scapegoat.
EFCC is budgeted to spend over N29 billion in 2021.
Even with the very high level of unemployment in Nigeria, EFCC will use N9.8 billion to pay salaries and wages and spend more than the commission annual wage bill, N14.5 billion as allowance or special allowance.
This is where many heads of government establishment see the money they steal.
Enough money always available and tempting to steal with little or no stress. All you just need to do as head is to conspire with some staff.
Even though you are ranked to be holier than the pope, you are pushed and you can be pushed to start stealing with the availability of such huge excessive funds at your discretion to spend.
The stealing of this money and the sharing formula is the cause of infighting among top government officials.
They conceal the true cause of their infighting and white wash the media space with all manners of frivolous accusations and counter accusations.
The allowance for special duties is recklessly and excessively being budgeted for yearly in Nigeria.
There is no way every staff of EFCC on the average will be receiving additional pay almost twice of their salary as special allowance for special duties on monthly bases. Impossible.
This is fraud. The budget itself is fraud. No academic theory support this fraudulent system of budgeting.
Even America with which its military is fighting all over the world don’t have the kind of special allowance provision for special duties the manner Nigeria military excessively budgeted.
America believes in employing and paying more salaries and wages to its people as a way of controlling or blocking possibilities for corruption while Nigeria budget less on salary and wages and allocate more to special allowance for the criminal few to continue to steal.
America budgeted over 84 percent ($636.4 billion out of $721.5 billion) of its Defence expenditure in 2021 for the employment and sustenance of its residents totalling 2.153 million while Nigeria budgeted less than 20 percent (N217 billion out of N1.061 trillion) of its Defence expenditure for salary and wages. Nigeria military strength is still less than 500 thousand.
Annoyingly, more than 52 percent (N555 billion) of Nigeria Defence expenditure is being budgeted as special allowance for the very few privilege ones in the military to steal.
How many Nigerian soldiers earn more than twice of his salary as special allowance every month if not few privilege ones who may not even know the road to Sambisa forest.
N170.1 billion out of the N400 billion budgeted for the National Social Investment Office will be spend as allowance or special allowance by government personnel. This is discretional spending at the will of the boss.
NSIO officials will spend in addition the sum of N19.2 billion for transportation. N15.6 billion as miscellaneous expenses.
This is wasteful. And a loophole in the budget that will make the money end up in the personal pocket of privilege individuals.
NSIO will spend more than 60 percent of the budgeted money for themselves and use N139.3 billion as meal subsidy to government schools.
This system of budgeting is a way of legalizing corruption. This is fraud. And possibilities for stealing is very high. Because they are all discretional spending.
If the entire N400 billion is used as salaries and wages to create more employment for the people, it becomes very very difficult for any boss to steal the money. The people will appreciate it more and they will be able to feed their children well without depending on the cholera food from government.
Then we have succeeded in preventing corruption instead of fighting corruption at a more financial cost and huge loss to tax payers.
Nigeria way of budgeting is the corruption that needs to end. If the budget did not create room for corruption, it becomes very difficult for any one to steal.
In doing this, we don’t need EFCC.
The willfulness of the president to authorize what it’s right and disapprove any thing obviously wrong is all we need.
EFCC should be scraped. It’s chasing away investors from Nigeria.
Many Nigerians steal from the country and travel abroad with Nigeria money to create employment in other countries.
Because government always use EFCC to close down businesses of perceived enemies in Nigeria.
Even when friends of the president are massively accused with obvious notorious facts of corruption, EFCC remains deaf and dumb.
Just single frivolous allegation against perceived enemy of the president, EFCC is already awake and active.
EFCC will harass and pass judgement on the perceived enemy before they start investigation.
EFCC is making Nigeria loss more with its deceptive fight against corruption.
It maybe the right to say, only banks through the banks apex regulator like Central Bank of Nigeria that have the capacity and the instruments to fight financial fraud or corruption.
Today, banks as financial laws enforcement agents automatically place no debit entry on your account if certain questionable transactions takes place in line with anti-money laundering, terrorism financing laws and other financial prohibited acts.
You must prove beyond reasonable doubt with the required documents to unlock the account.
Banks don’t need EFCC, any security agency or even the law court before they do that.
You have right to challenge the action of the bank in court for damages if the bank acted out of policy.
The bank through CBN may further approach court or hands over the bank customers to police for further investigation depending the nature of transaction involved.
EFCC is not fighting corruption. The commission only fight perceived enemies of the president.
Thus creating fear in the minds of many investors with the commission ceremonial way of disgracing perceived enemies of the president before court judgement.
Nigeria will spend less and achieve more if 85 percent of the money budgeted as special allowance is used to employ more people who can be stationed at a location for close and effective service delivery.
If more people received this money as salary, it becomes very very difficult for any boss or departmental head of government establishment to engage in excessive looting and stealing of public funds as being witnessed in the country.
EFCC has never fought and can never fight corruption in Nigeria.
EFCC is the worst form of deceit various president since the inception of the commission use to promote corruption in Nigeria.