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Govs not comfortable with probe of bailout fund —ICPC

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.

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

He said when the commission commenced investigations into coffers of state governments’ accounts, most of the governors were uncomfortable.

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

“We witnessed a situation where most of the states were bedevilled with ghost workers syndrome in spite of the fact 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.

According to the News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN), he said 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 basis, 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.

In his speech,  the  Bauchi State governor, Alhaji  Mohammed Abubakar, said 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.