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In 19 years, Nigeria spent N2trn on constituency projects without results— ICPC

CHAIRMAN of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye has revealed that Nigeria has spent about N2trillion on constituency projects in the past 19 years without commensurate development at the grassroots. 

The revelation is contained in a statement issued by the Spokesperson of ICPC, Rashidat Okoduwa quoting Owasanoye as speaking at the induction ceremony of newly qualified corporate members of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in Abuja.

He delivered a lecture titled “The Role of Quantity Surveyors in the Fight against Corruption, Especially in the Construction Industry.”

According to him, the on-going tracking of constituency projects by the Commission in 12 states of the federation was not to witch-hunt anyone.

Owasanoye had in April inaugurated the Constituency Project Tracking Group promising that the tracking team would ensure that the money budgeted for constituency projects were judiciously spent.

He however said that the Commission would not hesitate to prosecute any contractor that has failed to deliver on the projects, including accomplices.

The ICPC chairman disclosed that the initiative was already yielding positive results as some contractors had gone back to site to complete unfinished projects.

The states where the ICPC constituency projects tracking group is currently working are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kogi, Sokoto and Kano. Others are Imo, Enugu, Lagos, Osun, Akwa Ibom and Edo, with at least five projects awarded between 2016 and 2018 in each of the states.

According to Daily Trust, an assessment visit to Bauchi State by the ICPC recently uncovered how political feud between former Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara stalled the use of completed health centres in Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro, which formed the constituency Dogara represented at the House of Representatives.

At one of the health centres, located at Marti Bakin Kogi and Yaban Kufai community in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, the people said the centre, which was completed since 2016, has remained under lock and key with grass taking over the compound.

They blamed the closure on the political disagreement between the former governor and the former speaker.

The newspaper also reported that the ICPC announced that it had recovered some equipment worth millions of Nigeria meant for a cottage hospital in Essien Udim Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, under the constituency project. Some of the recovered equipment included two 15 KVA generators, a dialysis machine and infant incubators.

The Akwa Ibom State ICPC Commissioner, Mr Shola Shodipo, who led journalists to evacuate the equipment from a private home and deliver them to the hospital, said the commission discovered that the items were meant to be delivered to the hospital in March last year.

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