While the total budget projected for Nigeria in 2020 is N10.33 trillion, that of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) has hit over N1 trillion, about 10 per cent of the country’s budget estimates.
The revelation is coming on the heels of the demand by the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Moddibo Hamnan Tukur, that salaries of the operatives be captured as sub-head under the yearly expenditure profile of the CBN.
Tukur, who made the request yesterday, during the budget defence session that the agency had with the Senate committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes , said since NFIU is now domiciled at CBN as an autonomous agency, its salary structure and condition of service should reflect that of the CBN 100 per cent.
According to him , though request made to that effect by NFIU, to the president in line with its establishment Act, was honoured by him but not fully, which he said the committee members should look into.
“When we were with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as an intelligence unit , conditions of salary and service applicable to operatives of the commission , were fully extended to us .
“When we were moved to CBN as stipulated by the Act, we expected the same operational and management procedure to follow fully , which is not the case presently.
“We firmly believe that this can be done by the apex bank by just capturing our personnel costs as a sub- head under their expenditure profile on yearly basis,” he said.
He added that operatives of the agency needed to be well remunerated to avoid being consumed by temptations that come their ways on daily basis as regards millions of US dollars being tracked from fraudulently smuggled into our financial system.
“This morning alone, NFIU tracked and reversed $1.5 million of such fraudulent transactions. Some of the banks are in problem finding all means of getting out of it.
“A lot of money is being taken out of the energy sector within the radius of billions of dollars but we are leaving up to the task of tracking and frustrating the financial fraud in line with our primary responsibility of Assets tracing and tracking,” he said.
He lamented further that out of the N1.1bn capital budgetary votes appropriated for the agency in 2019, only N400 million has just being promised to be released to it this week, which according to him, translated into zero per cent implementation for now .
He appealed to the committee chaired by Suleiman Kyari, to help push for approval of the agency’s 2020 capital budget component of N4.2 billion.
This, he explained, was very necessary for the agency to finance the construction of its office in the Villa at the approved cost of N3.5 billion and give to the Supreme Court, N500million as cost incurred from its building being used as temporary office.