Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission

ICPC: NAFDAC illegally spent N14bn revenue—By Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control illegally spent N14.1 billion out of the N15.5bn revenue it generated from 2006 to 2010, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission has said.

Federal Government agencies are by law mandated to remit what they collect in revenues to the treasury, but there have been incidents when certain agencies were accused of illegally retaining part of such revenues.

ICPC yesterday said its investigations found that NAFDAC realised over N15.5 billion in the period under review but spent N14.1 billion in violation of the financial regulations.

Spokesman for the commission Mike Sowe said in a statement in Abuja that NAFDAC left a credit balance in its various bank accounts of only N850 million despite generating those billions.

But NAFDAC yesterday issued a reaction denying the allegations, saying it operated within the provisions of the law.

Sowe also said NAFDAC made some investments in fixed deposit accounts with some banks and accrued interest of N38 million, which was also withheld by the agency.

The statement said, “In furtherance of its mandate of identifying and preventing practices that encourage corruption in the public service, the ICPC has concluded a system study and review of the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) covering the period from 2006 to 2010.

“The commission discovered that NAFDAC generated over 15.5 billion naira as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) out of which it incurred expenditures of 14.1 billion naira, leaving the credit balance in its various bank accounts at 850 million naira.

“The ICPC is insisting that this amount must be remitted to the Federal Government treasury, minus 30 million naira which the agency had earlier released to the treasury following a query from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

“While exercising its power to invest idle funds at its disposal, NAFDAC made some investments in fixed deposit accounts with some commercial banks, with accrued interest of 38 million naira which had not been remitted to government coffers.

“Furthermore, the ICPC System Study team discovered that NAFDAC utilised 80 million naira from its Internally Generated Revenue to purchase motor vehicles which fall under capital vote, and made a payment of 6 million naira pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) for its staff from the IGR, whereas there is a provision for this expenditure under the personnel cost.

“In view of the non compliance with financial regulations on the remittance of all revenue and unspent balances to the sub-treasury by some ministries, departments and agencies, the ICPC, apart from forwarding appropriate recommendations to the National Assembly and the Federal Government, will not hesitate to apply the law whenever there is any violation from any quarters.”

In a reaction to ICPC’s allegations, spokesman for NAFDAC Jimoh Abubakar said, “We are shocked by the statement credited to ICPC. We are not in breach of any law. We have been operating within the bound of the law”.

Source: Daily Trust