The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has stated that violators of the provisions of the Procurement Act risked five to ten years imprisonment.
Magu, who lamented the widespread procurement fraud in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, further disclosed that civil servants found guilty under the Act might also face dismissal from service.
Speaking on Tuesday during the EFCC Anti-corruption Sensitization Programme organised for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Magu urged civil servants to familiarise themselves with the procurement Act, adding that EFCC would not spare anyone found to be involved in fraud against the Nigerian people.
‘‘The programme, which we are flagging-off this morning, is specially designed for employees of public and private institutions. It is aimed at bringing the fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes to the doorstep of this Ministry,’’ he said.
The anti-graft czar, who expressed the readiness of the Commission to rid MDAs of all forms of fraudulent activities, added that the sudden rise in the number of petitions relating to the violations of the Public Procurement Act (2007) had led to the setting up of a Procurement Fraud Unit within the Commission.
He added that the EFCC was working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Account-General of the Federation to weed out ghost workers.
According to him, ‘‘Currently, EFCC working in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Account-General of the Federation has uncovered Thirty-seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety-five (37,395) ghost workers in the Federal civil service and has cost the Federal Government close to One Billion Naira.
“Our investigations have so far revealed that the Federal Government has lost close to One Billion Naira to these ghost workers. The figure will definitely increase as we unravel more ghost workers buried deep in Federal Civil Service payrolls.’’
Magu also expressed his gratitude to the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN; Minister of State, Alhaji Mustafa Baba Shauri and Permanent Secretary, Eng. Abubakar Magaji for accepting to partner with the EFCC in the anti-graft war.
In his remark, Magaji, urged civil servants to collectively fight the monster of corruption in public service, adding that the fight could not be fought by one person.
“Corruption, as we know is generally responsible for the high level of illiteracy, poverty and low level of infrastructural provision in the states of the Federation and the nation in general”, he said.
He also commended the EFCC for initiating the programme which, according to him, would serve as a guide to all the staff of the Ministry.