From Fred Itua, Abuja
Acting chairman of the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, yesterday, disclosed that the agency has given full autonomy to Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit ( NFIU).
This is even as Magu disclosed that over 200 cases have been concluded between January to November 2017.
Magu who appeared before Senate on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes to give account of 2017 budget implementation, failed to submit details of recovered loots by the agency to the committee, but promised to make it available to the committee clerk later.
He said starting from January 1, 2018, NFIU would begin operation as an independent organisation.
The Egmont Group suspended Nigeria as a result of the interference of the EFCC in the workings of the NFIU. It asked the country to amend its law establishing the NFIU to make it independent or get expelled by January 2018.
Magu told the committee that the agency has a separate budget from that of the EFCC. According to him, “we have allowed NFIU to go. They are operationally autonomous and independent of EFCC. They will be independent of EFCC. We have given them financial autonomy. N800 million was proposed for the agency in 2018 budget.”
In his reaction, chairman of the committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, said the N800 million given to the agency is not enough.
According to him, “N800 million cannot go anywhere if you want them to work. They need to be properly funded and equipped.
The chairman also requested for pay roll of the 96 workers in NFIU from the head of the agency. Utazi said: “We need to know the work force of NFIU.”