A review of public procurement regulations has been requested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in order to combat corruption in the nation.
The ICPC’s chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, made this statement on Friday at a national policy forum on corruption and insecurity in Nigeria that the agency organized.
The goal of the debate, according to Owasanoye, was to broaden stakeholders’ perspectives on the causes, enablers, and policy gaps that limit the nation’s ability to decisively and completely eradicate insecurity within its boundaries.
Insecurity is sometimes made worse by public sector corruption, according to studies and conclusions from the ICPC, which the speaker claimed were both direct and indirect causes of it.
“Recently, ICPC arrested a military contractor that received over a period of less than ten years cumulative sum of about N6 billion from the Nigerian Army in suspicious circumstances and in violation of extant legislation,” he said.
“The commission’s recovery of huge cash sums in local and foreign currencies, luxury cars, customized mobile phones, designer watches including three Rolexes, as well as property documents from the premises of the contractor underscore the corruption that often attend military procurement.
“Some former military and security personnel are being investigated by ICPC and our sister agency for embezzlement of funds allocated to security.
“Another case under investigation is theft of part of special intervention fund approved for security operations by some civil servants in the line ministry who transferred about N1 billion to 4 shell companies.
“A special investigative team under the leadership of NSA and ICPC recovered some of the diverted assets, including state of the art building located in Abuja and over N220 million cash. Investigation in this matter is still ongoing.
“The newly established police special intervention framework designed to eliminate underfunding of the police, the Police Trust Fund, is already under ICPC investigation for abuse, fund diversion bogus, questionable welfare packaging that is not for the police who are the beneficiaries of the fund and sundry corrupt practices.”
Owasanoye said the commission is collaborating with other anti-corruption agencies to investigate misappropriation of funds in defence sector procurement practices.
“While ICPC and EFCC are investigating some of these anomalies, our efforts will not yield much without proactive prevention measures and a review of extant procurement practices,” he added.
“ICPC in furtherance of its statutory mandate to prevent corruption by review of the systems, processes and practices of agencies of government and to direct improvement where they predispose to corruption has through its research and training arm convened this policy dialogue.”