Presidential panel on recovery of public property to partner FRC on anti-corruption

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The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Properties is to partner the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) to further enhance the anti-corruption fight of the Federal Government.

The panel’s Chairman, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, said this in Abuja on Thursday during a courtesy call on the management of the FRC.

He said the collaboration between both organisations would ensure greater efficiency in recovery of government funds.

“We have to partner and collaborate, form synergy, share reports and intelligence and with this we will break mountains.

“Our functions are related if you look at the law creating this commission and ours, you will see that we can work together and we will both succeed and at the end of the day the people of Nigeria will be happy,” said Obono-Obla.

He said FRC was regarded as an anti-corruption and law enforcement agency because it could prosecute, recover funds and ensure proper implementation of the budget.

According to him, the provision guiding the establishment of the panel was constituted in 1983 but was abandoned and had not been in use since 1986.

He, however, said the panel had come to stay and would fight corruption squarely.

Obono-Obla said the panel was set up to investigate assets that had been looted by corrupt public officers and ensure that those assets were returned to the Federal Government.

The presidential panel was set up under the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act Cap R4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

It makes provisions for the investigation of the assets of any public officer who is alleged to have been engaged in corrupt practices, or unjustly enriched himself.

It also makes provisions for the investigation of any person who has abused his office or breached the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Acting Chairman, FRC, Mr Victor Muruako said the commission through empowerment by the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007 had caused about N760 billion to be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

He also said the Act was at a critical stage of amendment by the National Assembly to give it more power to carry out its activities.

Muruako said as part of its duties, the commission carried out verification of Federal Government capital projects and discovered that some projects were conceived without considering the needs of the people.

“That is why some of the projects fail and they will continue to fail if we do not do the right thing,” Muruako said.

He, however, told the panel that the two offices it operated from Asokoro were rented, a situation he said was not good for its image and finances.

Muruako appealed to the panel to give it one of the recovered properties to avoid continuous payment of rent.

He was assured of the panel’s support in ensuring that the office accommodation status was changed.

The FRA 2007, was enacted to promote prudent management of the nation’s resources, ensure long term macro-economic stability and transparency in fiscal operations of the nation’s economy. (NAN)

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