The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the agency’s N24 billion new office, brushing aside criticisms about the huge cost, and claiming it is a modest amount for a building that should cost N100 billion.
A visibly angry Mr Magu on Wednesday took strong exception to the scrutiny that followed the EFCC’s completion of the new headquarters in Abuja.
The 10-floor building is about 95 per cent completed as at May 9, and is expected to serve as the operating base for the anti-graft body.
have hailed the completion, but anti-corruption campaigners and other citizens are instead keeping their eyes on the cost, especially coming at a time that the agency itself is complaining of poor funding that hampers its basic operations.
“You are not being fair,” Mr Magu said when asked by PREMIUM TIMES to respond to the controversies around the N24 billion price Wednesday.
“If you go and bring any valuer, they will value it for not less than N100 billion.”
Mr Magu took a select group of journalists on a tour of the building Wednesday afternoon, during which he took questions which were restricted to the new building. The anti-graft chief refused to take questions about his own activities or those of the EFCC in recent months.
The tour is part of ongoing efforts to raise public awareness to the building before formal opening by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 15.
He explained the cumbersome and expensive procurement process that culminated in the successful execution of the new head office, located at about 12 kilometres southwest of Abuja’s Central Business District.
“That shows prudence, that shows transparency,” Mr Magu said.
Suspicions have escalated within the past two weeks when Mr Magu began gloating about the building, which was built by construction firm, Julius Berger.
The new office includes a mid-size parking facility, three detached buildings, including a clinic, a generator house, and a 33KV step-down transformer station.