Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday disclosed that N1.3 trillion was stolen from government coffers in the last four years by 32 corporate entities and individuals.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the anti-graft agency quoted the Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu as saying that the financial infractions took place between 2011 and 2015.
Magu said if applied for development purposes, the looted funds would have constructed 500 kilometres of roads, built 200 schools and educated 4,000 children.
Magu, who did not mention the entities and individuals, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2019 First Batch Conversion Training Programme to Procurement Cadre for Federal Parastatal and Agencies, organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), in Lagos,.
“One third of this money, using World Bank rates and cost, could have comfortably been used to construct well over 500 kilometres of roads; build close to 200 schools; educate about 4,000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N25 million per child; build 20,000 units of two-bedroom houses across the country and do even more.
“The cost of this grand theft, therefore, is that these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered for themselves what would have helped secure the lives of the future generations, thereby depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others,” he posited.
He stated that the poor state of procurement process in Nigeria was one of the major reasons why corruption has continued to thrive in government agencies and parastatals.
The EFCC boss further noted that the training, organised by the BPP was aimed at giving the participants the tools, knowledge and understanding they would need to carry out their duties in their respective places of primary assignments in an efficient and transparent manner.
“I sincerely hope that at the end of this training, we will see a few cases of financial propriety in our procurement proces