- President Muhammadu Buhari has threatened to deal with the officials who are into illegal job recruitment and retaining of ghost workers
- The President also vowed to take sanctions against those in the public workforce who engages in padding their payroll
- Meanwhile, the ICPC boss, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN lament the rising cost of governance and personnel budget
Abuja- President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the high level of corruption going on in the public workforce.
President Buhari disclosed that he will sanction those who bring personnel into the civil service through illegal recruitment, pad their payroll and retain ghost workers.
The Punch reports that Buhari made this known on Tuesday, November 30, in Abuja while declaring open the third national summit on diminishing corruption in the public sector with the theme ‘Corruption and cost of governance: New imperatives for fiscal transparency.’
The president also warned that his administration would not hesitate to punish heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies that fraudulently present new projects as ongoing projects in the budget.
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“We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects.
“Government has, however, noted from the activities of the ICPC that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects.
“Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard.”
ICPC boss, Ngige differ over illegal recruitment in labour ministry
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Profesor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, decried the rising cost of governance and rising personnel budget.
He blamed it on illegal recruitment and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, including the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The ICPC investigation of some cases of illegal recruitment forwarded to us by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has so far implicated the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan and several corrupt staff of other MDAs at a lower level."
Reacting to the indictment by the ICPC, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, told the newspaper that he was the one that initiated an investigation when he discovered the employment racket in his ministry.
“It’s an ongoing investigation initiated by me. They committed the fraud between May 29, 2019 and August 2019 when I was temporarily away as minister."
Chief Justice of Nigeria position
In his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, said the judiciary had, from January 2 to November 14, convicted 1,144 suspects of various corruption and financial-related crimes.
“The National Judicial Council has been carrying out regular disciplinary actions against erring judicial officers to effectively tame the monster within the system."
Boss Mustapha's position
Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the Buhari regime was “highly worried” that about 60 per cent of the Federal Government’s overhead expenditure in three years (2012 to 2014) was spent on travels, maintenance, local and international training, welfare, office stationery/consumables and honoraria among others.
Quoting recent data from the Budget Office, Mustapha said “actual MDAs recurrent spending is still on the rise viz. from N3.61tn in 2015 to N5.26tn in 2018 and N7.91tn in 2020.
Alleged N1.4billion subsidy fraud: EFCC chairman testifies in court
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa disclosed to a Lagos High Court in the Ikeja Area how an oil marketer, Abubakar Peters, and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, forged documents to obtain N1.4bn as subsidy from the federal government.
It was reported that the EFCC boss, who was in the witness box for over 6 hours on Wednesday, September 22, gave extensive details of how the EFCC conducted its investigations and uncovered the fraud.
Through the witness, the court also admitted in evidence several documents as proof of the alleged fraud.
Buhari Reacts, says Nigeria’s debt still at sustainable level
In another report, In recent times, Nigerians have continued to question the essence of the federal government’s borrowings, following the present state of the economy.
But President Muhammadu Buhari in reaction said that Nigerians were right to be concerned about the decision of the federal government to seek additional loans to fund 2022 budget estimates, but insisted that the debt level of the country was still at a sustainable limit.
The president said the target of his administration is to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 8 per cent to 15 per cent by 2025.