The Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Barrister Chris Onyemenam, has described as falsehood the allegation that N30 billion meant for the production of the National Identity Card was embezzled.
The DG, who disclosed this, on Wednesday, in Abuja at a press briefing, also stated that the 406 disengaged staff of the commission would face criminal charges as required by the law.
According to him, the allegations and claims of fraud were false and an unfortunate misrepresentation of facts, stressing that they were malicious and calculated to discredit the board, top management and his person over the handling of disciplinary cases of some staff found to have falsified their service records.
“Embezzlement of N30 billion again is misunderstanding of the facts that has been interpreted to suit the presenter’s purpose. In September 2011 government approved N30.066 billion from the procurement of cards and the accelerated expansion of the back end. And within budgetary constraints, we are very proud of the support we have received,” he said.
He explained that the said money was meant for a period of three years and the commission has already received N17.2 billion out of the 30 billion, adding that N940 million was spent on the redundant staff sacked in 2012.
“The management has ensured that all annual accounts of the NIMC are audited and approved by the Board before submission to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation as required by law. It is also published on our website as part of an annual report on the NIMC for each year. The 2014 Accounts that has just been approved by the Board will be published shortly,” he pointed out.
Onyemenam disclosed further that it was not true that management plans to declare redundancy or undertake any retrenchment, noting that due process was followed in the disengagement of the affected staff.
“Management has not behaved with impunity nor did it disobey any Court Orders. All due processes were followed and appropriate approvals obtained as necessary by NIMC Management in the discharge of its duties,” he said.
The DG explained that the reason the commission delayed the sack of the 400 of its staff was because it decided to thread in the line of caution.
”It is not true that NIMC has planned to sack or retrench 1,000 workers. However 406 senior members of staff who falsified their service records and thus have been profiting from that fraud, have been formally reported to the appropriate offices for further action,” he stated.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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