26 December 2012

Nigeria: No Business As Usual in 2013 - ICPC

Abuja — Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, has warned that it would no longer be business as usual, for the corrupt, from 2013.

Nta revealed that he would go after "contractors who abandons project on site after collecting mobilisation fees, the university teacher who extorts and harasses students, the public servant who breaches fiscal and budgetary rules and persons living in apartments or owning property above their legitimate means."

Fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja, the ICPC helmsman said under his administration, the commission would no longer wait for petitions from the public before moving against abuse of office by public officials.

He noted that impunity to law and order and non-compliance to rules and regulations were the major contributing factors to widespread corruption in the country.

According to him, ICPC has established two units, Financial Investigation and Assets Tracing and Recovery Units, to vigorously pursue the preventive aspect of the commission's mandate.

He disclosed that the system review into the activities and operations of 185 ministries departments and agencies, MDAs, had yielded the recovery of N188 million in 2011 from eight MDAs and N25 million from some area councils top officials in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Nta restated his earlier warning to MDAs not to touch unspent funds in the 2012 budget, saying "we are going to check the treasury in January next year to see how much has been returned."

On the sanitation of the Contributory Pension Scheme that led to the remittance of N243 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts, RSA, of contributors this year, Nta noted that before the ICPC intervention, the pension scheme was fraught with irregularities, such that officials on the same level and duration of service had different amount of money credited to their accounts.

Nta said ICPC, in partnership with National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, had taken steps to produce a perception index of corruption in Nigeria.

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