The Chairman, Senate Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti- Corruption, Senator Chukwuka Utazi has assured staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of enhanced welfare and better working conditions.
He gave this assurance on Friday while conducting on- the- spot assessments of the facilities and working environment of the South- South Zonal office of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to him, the works of the staff of the EFCC “are high- risk jobs that must be supported with incentives, facilities and the best of welfare conditions”. He particularly emphasized the re-introduction of the rested insurance scheme for every staff of the Commission and a “fully- functional housing scheme to ensure that the housing needs of staff” are met.
On the issue of training, Utazi, who was accompanied on the assessment tour by three other Senators, staff of his Committee and Journalists ,disclosed that though the Senate sympathized with the government on his embargo on foreign training for civil servants, it, nonetheless, made ” a special case for foreign training for staff of the EFCC and ICPC owing to the technical and sensitive nature of their jobs”. ” We will continue to insist that staff of anti- corruption agencies are trained and re-trained to ensure that they are intellectually- empowered and updated on their assignments”, he said.
As part of the assessment tour, the Committee members went round different sections of the Zone.
They were led in their inspection by the South- South Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Ishaq Salihu. Salihu give the members detailed information about the activities of each of the sections and Utazi expressed satisfaction with the state of facilities in the sections. He was particularly enthused by the on- going works in the Interrogation Room of the zonal office. According to him, ” the Interrogation Room here is peculiar. I will come again to inspect it when works are completed on it”. He also inspected the Cell and conversed with some inmates there.
At an enlarged meeting with Sectional heads of the Zone, Salihu explained the peculiarity of the South- South Zone of the EFCC to the Committee members and enjoined them to assist the Commission in ” tackling some challenges in the areas of space economy; armory; legal library; telephone tracking and jabbing, training and re-training of staff” among others. Utazi assured that the Senate would continue to do its best in its oversight duties to the EFCC. He stressed that the Senate was more interested in building strong institutions, rather than individuals and would also require that staff of the EFCC reciprocate their promised enhanced welfare package with more commitment “because to whom much is given, much is expected”.
Some of the Committee members that accompanied Utazi on the assessment tour are: Senator Mustapha Sani, Vice- Chairman of the Committee and Senators Dino Melaye and Hamman Misau.