Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Thursday, accused banks of aiding government agencies in funds diversion, saying officials of government couldn’t do that without their compromise.
Speaking when the leadership of the Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN) paid him a visit in Abuja, Lawan expressed disappointment that government funds appropriated yearly by the National Assembly to agencies of government were diverted.
He called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and other anti-graft agencies to go after looters of government funds including private organisations that indulge in funds diversion.
He lamented that revenue generating agencies of government were deep-necked in corruption having not remit what they generate into government coffers, a situation, he posited, wouldn’t be tolerated any longer.
Senate President advocated for ICT driven revenue collection to avoid leakages of government funds
“We believe that we can do better if we deploy technology in the collection and transmission of the revenues.
“That is why the Federal Inland Revenue Service has received complete support from the National Assembly to become more digital in the area of collection of revenues so that we limit leakages and embezzlement that some officers would try to engage in.
“It is not only in government agencies that we have this kind of attitude, even in private organizations. So our anti-corruption agencies should go beyond looking at what the government agencies are doing.
“They should also look at what our banks are doing. Some of these banks, I don’t have figures or names, a lot of times we have placed implicit trust in them but monies are diverted and accounts that have no approval of the Accountant General to be opened will be operated.
He recalled how executives of agencies of government operate multiple accounts before the introduction of TSA, saying that the Accountant General of the Federation was helpless in those circumstances.
“The malaise of corruption is deep-seated, needing concerted efforts to tame, and so efforts at Nation-building should be continuous with all hands being on deck to achieve this success.
Lawan argued that it wasn’t the huge resources that determine infrastructural development, but the efficient and economic prudence, adding that when Nigeria had lots of resources, it went into private pockets.
“Of course, that will always be at the back of the mind of everyone. So we are using the resources much more effectively than when we had more.
Meanwhile, the President of the CIFIPN, Dr. Ayeshetu Victoria Enape, said that the visit was primarily to urge the Senate to assist in passing a bill sponsored by the Institute which seeks to provide skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology to prevent detect and investigate corruption.