THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it is targeting constituency projects awarded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ministry of Power, and three other key sectors of interest to the current administration.
The anti-graft agency also listed the Federal Ministry of Education, Health, and Water Resources. It could be recalled that the President recently sacked his two cabinet members managing the agric and power ministries.
But, it stated that the exercise, which is the third phase in the series of project tracking activity would involve tracing 1,251 constituency and executive projects awarded by the five ministries across 17 states of the federation.
The states are Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau, and Kogi. Others are Benue, Ondo, Osun, Lagos, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Edo, Anambra, Imo States, and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
According to the information posted on its official website, the exercise continues the first phase held in 2019 in 12 states and the FCT, where 524 projects were tracked.
The second phase was in 2020, and it had about 822 projects tracked in 16 states.
“The focus, as in the previous years, will be on priority sectors of agriculture, education, power, health, and water resources.
“A total of 1,251 projects executed within the 2019 and 2020 appropriations have been listed for tracking in this third phase. These include 1,024 constituencies and 227 executive projects respectively.”
With support from the media and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), including The ICIR, the anti-graft agency has been at the forefront of tracking spurious organisations involved in procurement frauds. Some of the contractors are being investigated by the anti-corruption agency.
In 2019, Chairman of the Commission Bolaji Owasanoye, announced the constituency project annually gulps about N100 billion yet had bleak impacts. Hence, vowed to go after contractors involved in shoddy jobs.
Speaking on earlier inspection, the first 2 phases led to the recovery of assets worth billions of Naira to the government.
The objective of the exercise, he stated, was to ensure full implementation of the budget, ensure awarded projects are implemented from inception to completion, make recoveries on contracts confirmed to have been inflated, and investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for the constituency and executive projects.
“The reason is to improve service delivery to the people, ensure the full execution of all projects, guarantee value for money in the implementation of the projects and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the implementation of the projects, and increase recovery of public funds into government coffers, among others.”
“Equipment was returned to the host communities for whom they were meant. Also, about 300 contractors returned to sites and completed hitherto shoddily done or abandoned projects. The exercise led to the revelation that some projects were excellently and completely executed,” the ICPC stated narrating the impacts of the exercise.
While applauding the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, and other partners, the Commission revealed the exercise would be done through geolocation and mapping to enhance better tracking.