Labour pledges to monitor N338b bailout funds
THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and its Chairmanship, Ekpo Nta, for returning about N1 billion public funds “criminally diverted by some corrupt officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Pay Office”.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba in a statement said: “We salute the renewed effort and commitment of ICPC to recover looted public funds and other proceeds arising from criminal activities linked to corruption investigations. In doing so, ICPC is commendably living up to its Mission Statement, which is; “To rid Nigeria of corruption through lawful enforcement and preventive measures”.
NLC also pledged its continued support to all the anti-graft agencies in their “patriotic collective crusade against corruption being one of the cardinal agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration”.
According to the statement, one of the objectives of the Congress’ September 10th March against Corruption and for Good Governance is to encourage “best anti-graft practices which is what ICPC is doing”.
NLC called on all relevant Ministries and agencies of government to ensure the recovered looted funds are properly channeled to the activities they are meant for.
NLC said: “Indeed, the Ministry of Environment in this case must enter into verifiable performance bond with ICPC. As we have seen with this latest recovered monies, Nigeria and Nigerians are the ultimate loosers whenever corruption succeeds. Conversely all Nigerians are winners whenever corruption is apprehended as in this case”.
Quoting the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede, NLC said the recovered N1 billion was meant for the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative of the Federal Government, designed to assuage the crises faced by over 43 million Nigerians on desertification in 11 northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno and 43 local government areas which will be covered to rehabilitate 225,000 hectares of land”.
According to NLC, the GGW will also empower the people around the desert areas economically with 5,000- direct mass decent jobs (those engaged in tree planting, forest guards, sellers of fruits and vegetables, and watering) and skills acquisition programmes on agriculture as well as permanently put an end to the constant clash between farmers and cattle herders in some parts of the north.
Meanwhile, NLC has pledged to partner ICPC to monitor the disbursement and use of the N338billion bailout funds for 27 states.
Wabba said the Congress has directed its states councils to serve as whistle blowers on any criminal diversion of bail out funds, adding that “ We agree with ICPC that the painful days of the public “running after funds after appropriation” are over for the good of all Nigerians including our working members.
“The states the NLC is monitoring are those who have benefited from the disbursed N338b bailout funds. The 27 states are –
Abia (N14.152b); Adamawa (N2.378b); Bauchi ( N8.60b); Bayelsa (N1.285b); Benue (N28.013b); Borno (N7.680b); Cross River(N7.856b); Delta ( N10.036b); Ebonyi (N4.063b); Edo (N3.167b); Ekiti (N9.604b) and Enugu (N4.207b).
Others are Gombe (N16.459b), Imo (N26.806b), Kastina (N3.304b); Kebbi (N0.690b); Kogi (N50.842b); Kwara (N4.320b); Nasarawa (N8.317b ); Niger (N4.306b);Ogun (N20.00b); Ondo (N14.686b); Osun (N34.988b); Oyo (N26.606b ); Plateau (N5.357b); Sokoto (N10.093b) and Zamfara (N10.020b).