ICPC recovers houses, N18m from civil servants, undeserving beneficiaries

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recently recovered two high-rise buildings within the Federal Capital Territory, and N18 million from civil servants in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF). and undeserving beneficiaries over alleged breach of the Monetisation Policy.

In 2005 under the Monetisation Policy, the Federal Government sold some of its houses occupied by federal civil servants to them, in order to cut down the cost of governance.

In recent times, ICPC has been inundated with petitions, drawing the attention to allegations of widespread abuse of the policy by beneficiaries and some government workers.

The Commission discovered through preliminary investigation that a number of civil servants in the OHCSF, who benefited from the policy, had not paid for the houses since 2005. While some had completely defaulted, others are owing sizeable balance of the money.

The investigation further revealed that 32,305 houses were captured by the Committee on the Sale of Government Properties, while 24,345 were eventually sold to beneficiaries.

However, civil servants in some government agencies, notably OHSCF and the Federal Housing Authority have allegedly turned the policy into a shoddy business with the aim of defrauding the Federal Government.

ICPC also found out that some public servants and government agencies were concealing government property and collecting rent on same without the consent of the Federal Government, which flouted the policy.

Further discovery by ICPC has shown that staff in OHSCF allocated some of the houses to undeserving beneficiaries who were not public servants at the time of the exercise while some of the property are yet to be allocated.

The investigation has so far yielded fruitful result with the recovery of N18,031,000 from some civil servants and a host of companies, including Montgomery & Campbell Ltd and SICCONS, which has been paid into the coffers of the government. ICPC said that anyone found guilty of contravening the law would be charged to court upon conclusion of the investigation.

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