Not less than a whopping N1.3 trillion public funds were stolen by 32 entities (human and corporate) between 2011 and 2015, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu on Monday revealed.
Magu made this disclosure while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2019 First Batch Conversion Training Programme to Procurement Cadre for Federal Parastatal and Agencies, organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in Lagos.
The EFCC boss, who was represented by the Commission’s Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, decried the huge financial loss on the country.
According to him, “One third of this money, using world bank rates and cost, could have comfortably been used to construct well over 500km of roads; build close to 200 schools;
educate about 4000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N25million per child; build 20,000 units of two-bedroom houses across the country and do even more.
“The cost of this grand theft, therefore, is that these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered for themselves
what would have helped secure the lives of the future generations, thereby depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others.”
He said the poor state of the procurement process in Nigeria was one of the major reasons why corruption has continued to thrive in government agencies and parastatals.
He identified some of the fraudulent practices in the procurement process in Nigeria to include: kickbacks, conflict of interests, fraud in the bidding process, bid suppression, collusive bidding, bid rotation and market division.
Others, according to him, are: co-mingling of contracts, change order abuse, cost mischarging, defective pricing, false statement and claim, phantom vendors, product substitution, unnecessary purchases and purchases for personal use or resale.
Magu expressed confidence that Nigeria still has patriotic and credible individuals who would do all within their abilities to uphold the credibility and honesty required for leadership in public offices.