Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, NtaEkpo, has explained why the anti-graft agency had not been effective in its fight against corruption.Ekpo said the Federal Government had not been making necessary funds available for the agency to carry out its duty effectively.Nta stated this when he hosted members of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes headed by Senator ChukwukaUtazi in his office.The ICPC boss told his visitors that the yearly budget of his agency was insufficient to carry out its responsibilities and fight corruption.
He said, “In 2015, the commission proposed N9.5bn, but N4.9bn was appropriated, while N4.2bn was released.“The difference between what was appropriated and released is N697, 470,164m. The budget performance for 2015 on recurrent and capital is 100 per cent based on releases.“In 2016 budget, so far, information from Budget Office, for recurrent is N680, 984,456 as against N764, 182,724, while it was N300m in 2015 and N132m in 2014 appropriations.”Utazi said the Senate would work out modalities on how to strengthen anti-corruption institutions.He said, “This administration has to fight corruption and we are here as a committee to strengthen this commission.
“We are also asking you to look at the ICPC Act and then bring suggestions as amendments that will help us do our job.“We are going to help the President succeed in his fight against corruption. We must also focus on prevention, rather than prosecution.“It bothers us that the only thing we hear about ICPC and other anti-graft agencies is prosecution.”