Those who defraud the federal government through its social investment programmes will now have to contend with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, its acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has announced.
In Maiduguri, Borno State, he reiterated the resolve of the anti-corruption agency, to ensure transparency and honesty in the implementation of the ideals behind the creation of the National Social Investment Programme, N-SIP in the North-East.
“There are complaints across board of the beneficiaries collecting monies, while others are using proxy companies to siphon public funds, and this will not be tolerated,” he said.
Magu, who spoke through the Head, EFCC Maiduguri Zonal Office, Lawrence Iwodi, at the 14th Situation Room, according to s statement by the agency’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, also urged N-SIP beneficiaries to report any person(s) engaging in fraudulently activities through the program.
“The public is hereby warned to desist from fraudulent acts, as the EFCC will not relent in carrying out a proper investigation and likely prosecution of offenders in the area of school feeding and other programmes of N-SIP,” he said.
He further urged Nigerians to embrace the Federal Government’s whistle-blower policy, stressing that “beneficiaries should endeavor to provide us with information on fraudulent activities currently happening across the states, especially the school feeding programme.”
Speaking at the event, which had as its theme, “Increasing Transparency and Participation in the Implementation of the Social Investments Programme”, the keynote speaker, Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser, Social Investments Programme, noted the resolve of the N-SIP to partner with the EFCC.
“The N-Sip is collaborating with the EFCC on investigating and prosecuting of all cases relating to financial fraud on our programmes,” Mr. Sola Afolayan, who represented Uwais, said.
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sadiq Isa Radda, and the Director General of National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari, appreciated the effort of the EFCC in the fight against corruption and the achievement so far made by the Commission.
There were also representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress, the National Union of Teachers, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption, MacArthur Foundation, and Religious bodies.