EFCC, Other Anti-Corruption Agencies Get Increased Allocation In 2016 Budget, To Share N28billion
The All Progressives Congress-led government has matched words with action by proposing to spend a total of N27.7 billion in 2016 on the nation’s anti-corruption agencies.
The agencies are Economic and Financial Crime Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Others are the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, Public Complaint Commission, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Bureau of Public Procurement and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
The APC government, which was elected last year on a slogan of ‘change’, with promise to fight corruption headlong forming the major cornerstone of its campaign, demonstrated its preparedness to strengthen the anti-corruption agencies by increasing their budgetary allocation by 3.1 per cent, when compared with what was budgeted for them in 2015.
The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan allocated a total of N26.8 billion to the nine anti-corruption agencies in 2015.
Taking the lion share of the 2016 budgetary allocation to the anti-corruption agencies is the EFCC, which received N11.2 billion or 40.5 per cent of the N27.7 billion cumulative allocation to anti-graft agencies.
About N10.4 billion was allocated to the EFCC in the 2015 budget under the administration of Mr. Jonathan while in 2014, when Nigeria was making steady revenue from crude oil sale, the agency had a budgetary allocation of N12.2 billion.
President Buhari said the 2016 budget estimate of N6.08 trillion was developed around the benchmark price of $38 per barrel of crude oil and a production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day.
However, the 2016 budget is already threatened with crude oil currently selling slightly above $37 per barrel.
Also to enjoy increased budgetary allocation in 2016 if the budget is eventually passed by the National Assembly is the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, which got N494 million – N157million higher than the N336.8 million appropriated for it in the 2015 budget.
The proposed budget for the Bureau of Public Procurement in 2016 is N1.4 billion, as against N1billion in 2015.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives is expected to get N1.4 billion from the 2016 federal budget. In the 2015 budget, under Mr. Jonathan, N1billion was allocated to it.
However, it is not all bed of roses for the other anti-corruption agencies as President Buhari has proposed less money for their operations in his 2016 budget.
For instance, the ICPC’s budget for 2016 fiscal year was brought down from N4.9 billion in 2015 to N4.6 billion, a reduction of N292.5 million.
The CCB and the CCT, which had a very busy 2015 with the high profile trial of Senate President Muhammadu Buhari, also had its budgets for 2016 slashed by N98.6 million and N22.6 million respectively.
While the CCB got N2.2 billion and CCT N784.3 million in the 2016 budget proposal, the agencies got N2.3 billion and N806.9 million respectively in the 2015 budget.
The Public Complaint Commission’s budget in 2016 is N2 billion, whereas N2.5 billion was allocated to it in 2015.
Another significant partner in the fight against corruption, the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, also saw a reduction in its budgetary allocation for 2016.
The office will get N2.9 billion in 2016 as against the N3.2 billion that was allocated to it in 2015.
Will the increased budgetary allocation to some anti-corruption agencies and a slash in allocation to others affect the war against graft in the country in 2016? Only time will tell but one thing is certain: Mr. Buhari, whose government is currently investigating how billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the Nigerian military to wage war against Boko Haram was allegedly diverted into personal bank accounts of politicians and other ‘big men’ in Nigeria during the previous administration, has demonstrated a strong will to fight corruption.