A major fraud involving 29 ghost workers who have over the years received salaries and emoluments totalling N4 billion, have been uncovered at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) led by Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) after a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A security audit and verification exercise ordered by the President uncovered these can of worms in Aso Rock. The verification exercise showed that about 29 ghost security personnel have been on security pay roll in the Presidency over the years.
“The N4 billion was part of the N6.5 billion voted for security personnel and logistics in the Presidency. The NSA, who considered the N6.5 billion as outrageous, insisted that it be reduced.
“He subsequently brought the figure down to N2 billion. It was a move commended and approved by the President.
“A particular security agency delayed their auditing and verification for six months before releasing its personnel for the exercise few days ago.
“Interestingly, under the N6.5 fraudulent budget regime, junior security personnel in the Presidency received N18,000 per month, while senior personnel were entitled to N35,000 only, with no form of welfare packages.
“Currently, under the supervision of Monguno, with a realistic budget of N2 billion being effectively deployed to the general benefit and welfare of men and women saddled with the responsibility of the safety and security in the Presidency, the junior security personnel, who were paid N18,000 under the N6.5 billion budget regime, now enjoy a minimum of N80,000, while the senior personnel, who received N35,000 then, now collect a minimum of N150,000, including other benefits”, a source told The Eagle Online.
The source added that under the new security budget regime, a middle level cadre had been introduced into the security architecture, with those in this category receiving a minimum of N100,000 monthly as allowance aside other benefits. Under this arrangement, N80,000, N85,000 and N90,000 go to junior, middle and senior cadres respectively.
Monguno has also introduced Departmental allowances to discourage any form of corruption and mismanagement of security fund.
The source added: “The show of power and rivalry between the former Chief Security Officer to President Buhari, Abdulrahman Mani, and Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant Colonel Lawal Abubakar, got to a climax in June 2015, when the two officers issued counter directives concerning the duties and operations of various agencies working in the Villa.
“This was brought under control by the quick intervention of Monguno. The functions of all security agencies in the Presidency are specified by law.
“Their duties and functions may overlap as they are complementary in the common task of securing lives and properties in Aso Rock. But these duties are coordinated and overseen by the NSA, who presides over meetings with the heads of all the security agencies.”