Nigeria: Dispute over system for electronic transmission of corruption documents

The Chairman of the Nigerian Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola yesterday disagreed with the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the computerisation of the Commission for efficient transmission of both sensitive and non-sensitive documents, especially petitions.

Ayoola said that computerisation of the Commission would not amount to efficiency of the institution and would therefore want the N260 million (US$1.7m) proposed for it in the 2010 budget channeled to the recruitment and training of investigators to deal with the plethora of petitions pending at the Commission. “If you give me N260 million to achieve efficiency at the Commission, I would not use it on computerisation because there are petitions to be investigated and there are no personnel to investigate them.” He maintained that he would rather spend money on recruitment and training of investigators to deal with the several petitions that daily inundate the Commission.

But Chair of the Committee, Senator Sola Akinyede insisted that the Commission must be computerised, stressing that “N260 million is not too much as I believe that the Commission must be modernised. Akinyede, apparently surprised at Ayoola’s position, said: “I insist that you modernize the ICPC. You do not need to get people to be moving sensitive documents from Lagos to Abuja. “Documents can be scanned and sent via the internet and they would be received at the expected destination in less than five minutes. A lot of resources can be saved by this. Besides, it is faster and safer than sending documents by courier, which cumulatively is very expensive. The high cost of courier services can be pruned down and the money channeled into modernising.”

via Sufuyan Ojeifo of This Day on allAfrica.com, 10 Dec 2009