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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has raised questions over the budget of N2.9bn Naira to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for Zonal Intervention constituency projects.
During a media roundtable in Abuja, ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, said after a breakdown of the 2019 allocation for zonal interventional projects, they found out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would spend N2.9 billion naira on constituency projects.
The ICPC boss also revealed that N2.7 billion was also allocated to the Ministry of Justice in the same budget saying that it constitutes some of the anomalies surrounding the implementation of constituency projects across the nation.
“What is constituency project doing in Foreign Affairs? We will ask questions about this kind of allocation.” Owasanoye lamented.
He said he has concerns that constituency projects, which principally were projects and empowerment programmes designed to bring development to rural communities within the country had been included in the budgets of MFA and other non-relevant ministries and agencies.
According to him, only about 60 per cent of constituency projects have been completed with a lot of them executed in shoddy ways due to poor technical designs, impositions and other sundry irregularities.
He said zonal intervention projects should be handed to local government authorities after completion for the effective maintenance and sustainability of the projects.
“If somebody had nominated a project and succeeded in getting the project to the community, it is not the duty of the person to maintain it, communities need to understand that it was public funds that were used, and they need to take ownership,” he noted.
Owasanoye added that the Commission would not give up on tracking constituency projects as long as government keeps funding them and therefore called on local communities to own the projects for themselves.