The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) says it has recovered N594 billion allegedly stolen from government establishments between 2016 and last year.
According to the Commission, the funds were recovered from ex-civil servants in various Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies (MDAs) across the country.
Involved in the sharp practice are retired civil servants still drawing salaries and others in the service but collecting double salaries.
Johnson Oludare, an Assistant Director, Special Initiative on Continuous Audit, broke the news at the North Centre Town Hall meeting organized by the African Center for Media & Information Literacy with the theme: “Whistleblowing and fight against corruption” in Minna, Niger State.
He said: “The N594,089,136,242 billion were monies recovered from 800 ex-employees that are still collecting salaries and benefits, 400 that are still in active service, but collecting double salaries, while 1200 staff connived with Micro Finance Banks to steal from various MDA between 2016 and 2018.”
According to Oludare, recoveries were from two class of individuals namely, the classified political thieves and the unclassified thieves that connived with MDAs, parastatals and agencies to steal public funds.
The director noted that the anti-graft agency is confronted with a lot of challenges in the discharge of its duties that include lack of legal frame work, adequate funding, lack of public awareness as well as lack of proper organization of the whistleblowing unit, among others.
Another official of the ICPC, Jimoh Suleiman, urged members of the public to speak out against corrupt practices by individuals in organizations in order to help in the investigation and prosecution of corrupt persons. He said: “The problem sometimes is that corrupt practices are shrouded in secrecy and brought to the open when things go wrong among those involved.”
He also called on the public to desist from malicious whistleblowing forwarding only true information to the anti-corruption agency.
The Niger State Acting Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Yahaya Ibrahim Gbongbo, said the fight against corruption can be achieved through value reorientation of the public.
“Corruption is responsible for the slow paste of development. That is why as a nation, the Federal Government and the legislature must come up with a strong incorruptible legislation to fight it,” the NOA director said.