Governors uncomfortable with investigations into spending of bail-out funds – ICPC boss

Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, said most state governors were jittery when the commission commenced investigations into the spending of bailout funds.

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Nta stated this in Bauchi on Monday in his speech at the opening of Bauchi State Anti-Corruption Summit, titled “Transparency and Accountability: A Panacea to Good Governance and Sustainable Development.

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He said that when the commission commenced investigations into coffers of state government accounts most of the governors were uncomfortable.

“Most of the governors thought I was going to find out how the bail funds were utilized, not knowing that the commission had different intention.

“We witnessed a situation where most of the states were bedeviled with ghost workers syndrome in spite that their resources could pay workers’ salaries.

“Staff verification could not be authentic as most agencies alerted both their authentic and fake staff to appear during such exercises,” Nta said.

He said that the commission, therefore, had to fall back on Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), and matched same with staff nominal list and a lot of malpractices were discovered.

“Some of the workers were discovered to be receiving double and even triple salaries, with two or four accounts, different names in different banks and one BVN.

“They draw salaries from all the accounts on monthly bases, as such I urge all agencies to address the issue of ghost workers with dispatch,” Nta said.

He called on members of the National Assembly to monitor projects executed by the executive to ensure that such projects tallied with funds appropriated in the budget.

The chairman commended Kano State Government for being the first to constitute an anti-corruption commission for the state and urged other states to do same.

In his speech, Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said that in line with the anti-corruption campaign in the state, a committee was set up to recover all funds and property acquired illegally by some government officials.

“In line with the present administration’s commitment to fight corruption in all the sectors of the economy and the civil service, the Bauchi state Government set up a committee to recover all public funds and property acquired illegally by some persons in the past administration.

“The committee has submitted its reports and released a white paper on the findings of the committee,’’ he said.

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