A Nigerian agency, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) saddled with the primary responsibility to coordinate and enforce all other laws on trafficking in persons and related offenses have padded its 2017 budget to the tune of over N458 million.
This appears a long-time practice that has helped Nigeria lost a huge amount of monies through budgeting and procurement processes.
Rather than a budget for the item that will allow the agency execute its mandate effectively, it decided to budget for projects that are outside its mandate with the sole aim of diverting the fund.
An insider source in the agency said budget padding, poor execution of projects, racketeering, inflation of contracts, and other contractual breaches are some of the factors responsible for NAPTIP’s inability to effectively carry out its mandate.
Ballaga-Billiri federal constituency had N30 million allocated to it for the purchase of motorcycle for the youth, a copy of the agency budget obtained by WEST AFRICA REPORTERS shows.
A check on the website shows that the agency has since gone to spend monies on projects that were never captured in its budget. Rather the agency chose to go into the construction of schools, renovation of a mosque, building a hospital which is not for the purpose of its appropriation.
Another N60 million was given out for the training of women and youth at Fune a local government in Gombe state.
A staff of the agency told WAR that the agency worked with members of the National Assembly to hide the monies in the budget and share it as soon as the budget is passed.
A check on the agency website shows that it requested for a bid to construct boreholes at various locations in Kaduna and Kogi states, and build a hospital in Ekiti state.
Further check shows the agency claims to have funded the installation of transformers in Oyi-Ayamelum, Anambra State.
Another project undertaken by the agency is the construction of the mosque in nine communities across the nine local government areas in Yobe State.
A senior staff of the agency who spoke on the condition of anonymity provided no justification for the projects advertised by the agency beyond saying that the agency has the right to spend its money ones it has been appropriated.
An investigation revealed that a greater percentage of the projects were not executed, and where attempts were made, they were either below the set standard or had been abandoned by contractors.
When WAR sought the response of the agency regarding diverting monies to projects that are not part of its mandate, Mrs. Donli, the Director-General told this newspaper that appropriation Act allows the agency it to embark on such project as part of the zonal intervention project.