House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has queried the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission- EFCC over non recruitment of 420 new staff as approved by the House committee on Financial Crimes.

Chairman, House Committee on Crimes Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim Dutse, gave the query when the EFCC Acting Chairman appeared before the Committee to defend the agency’s 2021 budget proposal in Abuja.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim Dutse, stressed that it was as a result of request by the commission to recruit additional staff that the committee jacked up the agency’s personnel cost to enable it achieve the mandate but to their surprise the aim was defeated.

The committee Chairman also observed that out of the 24.9 billion naira appropriated to the agency last year, 21.3 billion naira has been released but only 17.6 billion naira had been utilized.

Responding, the EFCC Acting chairman, Mohammed Umar attributed the delay in the recruitment of the new staff to the covid-19 pandemic which virtually affect the operations and programmes designed during the year under review.

Mohammed Umar, highlighted some of the challenges facing the commission which include needs to have special courts to try corruption cases, increase in personnel and security men as well as poor release of capital votes.

The acting chairman also lamented that the issue of 5% recoveries to be given as cost of collection to the commission had not been approved.

SALIHU TSIBIRI