President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, vowed that government will punish public officers who bring in personnel into the public workforce by illegal recruitment, pad their payroll and retain ghost workers.
This is as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has attributed the high cost of governance and rising personnel budget to illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc.
The ICPC also said a number of MDAs have mini civil wars going on between the Board and management and sometimes within the board, adding that the squabbles revolve around abuse of power prohibited by ICPC Act and unreasonable demands by some Board members for privileges contrary to extant circulars and laws and government’s resolve to minimize cost of governance.
Speaking, while declaring open the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, organized by the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) at the presidential villa, Abuja,
President Buhari warned that his administration will not hesitate to punish heads of MDAs that fraudulently present new projects as ongoing projects in the budget.
According to him, ‘‘We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects.
“Government has, however, noted from the activities of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects.
“Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard.”
President Buhari described the summit with the theme “Corruption and Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency,” as auspicious, noting that it reminder of the negative impacts of unnecessary cost of governance and offers an opportunity for critical stakeholders to offer suggestions on ways to further reduce the cost of governance and promote transparency and accountability in government expenditure.