ICPC, NOA launch community campaign to monitor constituency projects

AS part of its effort to fight corruption, the Independent Corruption Practices and other related Offence Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has launched a National Awareness Campaign on Community Monitoring and Ownership of Constituency Projects.

The campaign: “My Constituency, My Project” held on Thursday at the NOA headquarters Abuja is a new initiative that would ensure maximum participation of citizens in tracking constituency projects while holding representatives overseeing the projects accountable.

“It is a move to ensure that every fund allocated for the implementation of constituency project equal what is delivered by contractors and other parties,” said Garba Abari, Director-General, NOA.

ICPC said the new development was necessitated after a three-month field tracking exercise which comprised of 424 projects by its officials in selected states.

The deplorable states of constituency projects and the gross fund misappropriation in the development sector which unfortunately is often fuelled by the lax attitude of project supervisors in monitoring contractors, the Commission said.

Professor Bolaji Owasanye, Chairman ICPC, in his remark condemned the culture of branding constituency projects as a personal favour to the citizens, noting that the new campaign is designed to educate and encourage the citizens to take ownership of government offers as theirs.

He said the partnership between the ICPC, NOA and other stakeholders is key to achieve the objectives of this campaign.

Owasanye urged the NOA to be proactive in the new partnership towards carrying out their duties as a government orientation agency to ensure that the campaign yield the desired results.

Hafiz Mohammed, ICPC field official, during the presentation of the new campaign, also expressed concern about the opacity around the constituency projects.

“Citizens do not  even know that the government funds these projects through tax returns and it  has been confused for ‘goodwill’ donations by politicians.”






     

     

    Also bemoaning the slow pace of implementation of constituency, Dayo Olaide, Deputy Country Director, Mac Arthur Foundation recommended the creation of an independent committee that would query political dealings at the local government level.

    “Corruption in constituency project is not just criminal but wicked, this is no different from a father raping his daughter,” he said.

    Other stakeholders at the event such as media practitioners and non-governmental organisations also recommended that that detail of constituency projects should be made accessible to the public online, and the National Budget Office assured the audience to implement the recommendation.

    Partners comprising the Constituency Projects Tracking Group include Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), PremiumTime Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), Budgit, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Budget Office of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, Office of the Auditor- General of the Federation and others.

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