Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent
  • ABURIGHT NIGERIA COMPANY

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    Thursday, 14 July 2016

    NSA uncovers 29 ghost workers, N4bn fraud



     While Nigerian president, Muhammed Buhari, is fighting tooth and nail to flush out corruption in the country, 29 ghost workers and N4billion fraud have been uncovered by the office of the national security adviser.

    National security adviser, Major General Babagna Monguno,  is allege to have discovered the ghost workers and the monumental fraud after carrying out an auditing and verification exercise on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari.

    According to a source, “Monguno uncovered over N4 billion security fraud within the presidency, a security audit and verification exercise ordered by the President, uncovered this can of worms in Aso Rock.

    The verification exercise showed that about 29 ghost security personnel have been on security pay roll in the presidency over the years.”

    It was gathered that prior to the emergence of Buhari’s administration, the internal Aso rock security budget was N6.5 billion for 2015.  

    To sanitize the security circle in the presidency, Monguno sort and got the approval of the President, to embark on the verification exercise, in line with the anti-corruption campaign of Buhari.

    The N4billion was alleged to be part of the N6.5billion
    dedicated to the security personnel and logistics in the presidency, most of which allegedly went into private pockets.

    “The NSA, who considered the N6.5 billion as outrageous, insisted that it be reduced. He subsequently brought the figure down to N2billion. It was a move commended and approved by the President,” said the source.
     
    It was further gathered that the verification exercise did not go down well with some persons in and around the security circle. These people felt the exercise would expose their dirty deals.

    The source continued: “A particular security agency delayed their auditing and verification for six months before releasing its personnel for the exercise few days
    ago.

    Under the N6.5 fraudulent budget regime, junior security personnel in the presidency received N18, 000 per month, while senior personnel were entitled to N35, 000 only, with no form of welfare packages.

    Currently, under the supervision of the Monguno, with a realistic budget of N2 billion being effectively deployed to the general benefit and welfare of men and women saddled with the responsibility of the safety and security in the Presidency; the junior security personnel who were paid N18, 000 under the N6.5billion budget regime, now enjoys a minimum of N80,000, while the senior personnel who received N35,000 then, now collect a minimum of N150, 000, including other benefits.”
     
    He noted that the new security budget regime, introduced another new middle level cadre of personnel, with a minimum of N100,000 monthly allowances and attached benefits.

    This upward review of allowances, it was learnt, is to ensure professional hierarchy and discipline. This aims at boosting the morale of all the security personnel in the discharge of their statutory duties.

    Aside from the increment in monthly allowances of staff, another quarterly allowance was also said to have been introduced by the Office of the NSA as special
    duty quarterly allowance for security personnel in the presidency.

    The source said: “Under this arrangement, N80,000, N85,000 and N90,000 go to junior, middle and senior cadres respectively. This measure is to ensure professionalism is maintained.”

    It was also heard that another innovative measure, put in place to discourage any form of corruption
    and mismanagement of security fund by Monguno, is the
    establishment of departmental allowances to enable departments function effectively.

    Stressing that the wheels were now running smoothly in the NSA office without any clog, the source said: “The show of power and rivalry between the former Chief Security Officer(CSO) to President Buhari, Abdulrahman Mani and Aide de camp Lt. Col. Lawal Abubakar, got to a climax in June 2015, when the two officers issued counter directives concerning the duties and operations of various agencies working in the Villa.
    This was brought under control by the quick intervention of Monguno.

    The functions of all security agencies in the presidency are specified by law; their duties and functions may overlap as they are complementary in the common task of securing lives and properties in Aso Rock.

    But these duties are coordinated and overseen by the NSA, who presides over meetings with the heads of all the security agencies.”

    It was gathered that some security experts and civil society groups, who got wind of the changes taking place in the NSA office, have urged Buhari to extend this measure to the bureaucracy and non-security staff in the presidency.

    Meanwhile, contrary to some recent media reports, it was reliably gathered that the composition of members of the Committee, which probed the Arms Procurement was purely a military affair.


    The military hierarchy allegedly denied the involvement of other sister agencies, not directly involved in the Arms deal.All efforts made to contact Monguno proved abortive as his mobile line was switched off.

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