Nigeria Police Trust Fund: ICPC probes N12bn take-off grants, contracts

  The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is investigating spendings at the Nigeria Police Trust Fund...

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is investigating spendings at the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF).

The anti-graft agency is seeking answers in its probe of N11billion procurement contracts and N1.6billion take-off grants.

The ICPC asked former Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba (board chairman) and seven others to appear.

The letter of invitation was signed by the Director of Operations, Akeem Lawal.

Director-General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze; and an Executive Director at Dangote Group, Mansur Ahmed, were invited as witnesses being NPTF non-executive board members.

Akabueze represents the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Ahmed represents the Organized Private Sector as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) President.

Also invited were Director, Legal Services, Victoria Ojogbane; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Yahaya Mohammed; Director, Finance and Account, Lawal Gunjunju.

The rest include Special Assistant, Technical, Salihu Abubakar; Director, Human Resources and General Services, Femi Akinfala.

Abba and others deny any wrongdoing. The Executive Secretary, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, a former Deputy Governor, is yet to be invited.

The ICPC will charge indicted persons at the completion of the ongoing inquiry. The purchase of equipment for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) snowballed into a scandal.

The procurements were said to have been handled by the NPTF management, NPF, Police Affairs Ministry and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

A source said that some officials colluded and awarded the contracts in a manner that contravened the NPTF Act.

Section 13 demands the constitution of a Police Trust Fund Project Implementation Committee to oversee projects approved by the board.

Section 11 states that the board is responsible for the disbursement of money to finance relevant projects, activities of the police and other beneficiaries.

The body gets 0.5 percent of the total revenue accruing from the federation account and 0.005 percent of the net profit of companies operating in Nigeria.

The NPTF also relies on grants, government special intervention funds, budgetary allocation as well as donations from local, international organisations and the private sector.

In June, the Senate approved N74.8billion as NPTF budget for 2021. Total recurrent – N11,015,889,316; capital expenditure – N63,757,712,600.

Total roll-over from 2020 – N23,631,857,141; 0.5% of federation account total revenue – N41,867,680,099; 0.05% of total VAT – N8,824,064,676; 0.05% of net profits of companies – N300,000,000; Aids, grants, donations – N150,000,000.

The Senate approved N988,279,000 for personnel cost and N10,027,610,310 as overhead expenditure.

In February, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter transmitting the NPTF budget, said it would cover the training and re-training of police officers for better performance and efficiency.

“The procurement of state-of-the-art equipment, operational vehicles and related facilities to enhance the skills of personnel in handling operational equipment;

“The construction of police stations, barracks and other living facilities for personnel of the NPF and their dependents.

“The procurement of instructional materials, training equipment, and payment for the cost of participation of personnel of NPF at seminars, conferences and other skill acquisition courses”, it read.

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