President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja directed officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to go after Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that are yet to be on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The president gave the charge at the opening session of a two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public jointly organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
He said the new directive on IPPIS was intended to halt the padding of personnel budgets and the diversion or misappropriation of capital budgets.
“I am aware that the Commission recently conducted System Studies and Review of many MDAs to evaluate systems and processes relating to transparency and accountability in personnel and capital spending through which you successfully blocked over N9 billion from being diverted from 2019 personnel budget.
“That was a proactive prevention measure. I have directed that all agencies of government must get on the IPPIS in order to eliminate the padding of personnel budgets.
“I urge ICPC to beam its searchlight on all agencies yet to get on the IPPIS and our e-government platform in order to fully halt the padding of personnel budgets and the diversion or misappropriation of capital budgets,” he said.
The president also spoke on constituency projects by members of the National Assembly, saying that N1 trillion was expended by the federal without results.
“It is on record that in the past ten years N1 trillion has been appropriated for constituency projects yet the impact of such huge spending on the lives and welfare of ordinary Nigerians can hardly be seen.
‘‘The first phase report of tracking these projects by ICPC confirms our worst fears that people at the grassroots have not benefited in terms commensurate with the huge sums appropriated for constituency projects since inception.
“I am ,therefore, delighted that through the effort of ICPC some contractors are returning to site to execute projects hitherto abandoned and that project sponsors are being held to account.
“The ICPC has my full support and the support of this government to hold fully to account contractors, complicit public servants and project sponsors who divert funds meant for constituencies or other people oriented welfare projects of our government or who by other means reduce the quality and value of such projects meant for our people,” he said.
On asset recovery, the president said the present administration would continue to support anti-corruption agencies to recover all ill-gotten wealth and prosecute offenders, adding that all fully-recovered physical assets would be sold and the proceeds remitted to government accounts.
“Enforcement activities by anti-corruption agencies continue to reveal that some public officers possess properties and assets way beyond their legitimate sources of income.
“Asset recovery cases in court also reveal that some of these criminally minded public officials are quick to disown these properties during investigation and in court. Recovered assets will continue to be deployed in the provision of needed infrastructure and social welfare programme.
“The National Social Investment Programme is already utilizing recovered funds to touch the lives of vulnerable Nigerians. I, therefore, commend the partnership between the ICPC and the National Social Investment Office to ensure that beneficiaries of government social intervention programmes are not short-changed along the line by unpatriotic officials,” he said.