Members of the Nigerian Senate at a plenary
The Senate says underfunding of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other anti-corruption agencies may scuttle the fight against corruption.
The Senate made known in a statement signed by the Spokesperson for the Commission, Mrs Rashidat Okoduwa and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the statement, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi raised the concern during the budget defence of ICPC at the National Assembly Complex.
The chairman said that poor budgetary allocation to the commission would hinder it from attaining the set targets.
“If we want to fight corruption, we must fund the fight. You want to fight corruption without funding? It won’t work.
“An agency like ICPC needs to get into the consciousness of Nigerians. It needs to do enlightenment and educate the people on the ills of corruption.
“This will help us to look at the cause, which is less expensive than what we are doing now by running after the corrupt people,’’ the chairman was quoted as saying.
Utazi assured ICPC that the senate would ensure improved budgetary allocation to the commission.
According to him, there must be a total overturn in the budgetary process and the committee will make a case to get what the commission deserves to do its job.
Utazi also assured that the committee with the engagement of other colleagues from the House of Representatives would look at the paltry sums being given to the commission.
Earlier, the Chairman of ICPC, Mr Ekpo Nta had lamented that inadequate funding was hindering the performance of the commission.
He told the committee that some operations of the commission were delayed and others left unexecuted in 2016 because of insufficient funds even while they were captured in the budget.
ICPC had submitted a budget proposal of N5.8 billion for 2017 to the National Assembly.