BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA— THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is broke, cannot pay salaries of staff and services of prosecutors to carry out operational functions, its Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Aremu, has said.
Aremu disclosed this Monday, at a public hearing on A Bill for An Act to Establish the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Agency, NFIA, 2013, organised by the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Economic Crimes.
He said the financial challenges facing the activities of the anti–graft agency was as a result of what he called non-remittance of appropria-ted funds for the agency by the Federal Government over the months.
The EFCC Secretary said: “I could recollect when the committee paid us an oversight function visit.
“We did make our financial position known to the committee that EFCC does not have N2 million in its accounts.
“We have been complaining that no money has been released for us for operations.
“If we can afford to pay salary this month, that is all. That is the position under which we operate presently.”
He opposed the intention of the Bill in making Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU, currently a department in EFCC, an independent Intelligence Unit on its own, insisting that “FIU, in most climes of the world, is run as a secret operational centre at the background of a major body like EFCC as it is presently in Nigeria.
”FIU as intended by the Bill should not be expo-sed to the public as a separate body on its own.
“It should be kept at the background as it is in most climes of the world.”
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria, National Intelligence Agency and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, all rose in support of the proposed bill.