FG slashes EFCC’s budget by 50%

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By OKEY NDIRIBE

ABUJA— Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, may be crippled next year if the Federal Government’s slashing of its 2013 budget proposal by N11.7 billion sails through the National Assembly.

Already, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Larmode, has expressed concern that the development might prevent the agency from meeting its personnel cost in 2013.

The anti-graft agency had proposed N21,028,488,772 billion to fund its operations in 2013, but the Budget Office approved N9,328,159,022 billion, less than half of the commission’s request to meet capital, personnel and overhead expenditure items next year.

While defending the commission’s 2013 budget proposals before the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes yesterday, Larmode told the committee that the Federal Government failed to release N25 million appropriated for the purchase of arms and ammunition for the commission this year.

Members of the Adams Jagaba-led Committee queried phased releases of funds by the Finance Ministry to EFCC as evident in 15 percent deficit in cash-backed 2012 release to the commission with a month left to the end of the fiscal year.

Due to allegations of politically-motivated prosecutions, EFCC has come under criticisms lately for its seeming lukewarm approach to its anti-corruption fight.

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