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Buhari: N1trn spent on constituency projects in 10 years without impact

Ebunoluwa Olafusi

President Muhammadu Buhari says N1 trillion has been spent on constituency projects in the past 10 years but without any impact on citizens.

Buhari spoke on Tuesday in Abuja during the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the office of the secretary to the government of the federation.

”N1 trillion has been appropriated in the last 10 years for constituency projects, but the impact can hardly be seen,” he said.

He said Nigerians in rural communities have not felt the impact of the projects based on available data.

He asked the ICPC to investigate contractors and their collaborators in government who received payment for such projects without delivering them.

“I am aware that the commission recently conducted system studies and review of many MDAs to evaluate systems and processes relating to transparency and accountability in personnel and capital spending through which you successfully blocked over N9 billion from being diverted from 2019 personnel budget,” Buhari said.

“That was a proactive prevention measure. I have directed that all agencies of government must get on the IPPIS in order to eliminate the padding of personnel budgets.

“I urge ICPC to beam its searchlight on all agencies yet to get on the IPPIS and our e-government platform in order to fully halt the padding of personnel budgets and the diversion or misappropriation of capital budgets.”

The president commended the ICPC for major enforcement and preventive initiatives. He also appealed to Nigerians to join in the fight against corruption.

He said: “The war against corruption cannot be won without prevention, enforcement, public education, and enlightenment.

“I encourage the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts in public education, enlightenment, and engagement with citizens.

“I also urge our development partners, civil society organizations, and the media to continue to support our efforts to strengthen ethical values and integrity in Nigeria.”

“The ICPC has my full support and the support of this government to hold fully to account contractors, complicit public servants and project sponsors who divert funds meant for constituencies or other people-oriented welfare projects of our government or who by other means reduce the quality and value of such projects meant for our people.”

The president said his administration will continue to support anti-corruption agencies to recover all ill-gotten wealth and prosecute offenders.

He added that all fully recovered physical assets will be sold and the proceeds remitted to the treasury.

“Recovered assets will continue to be deployed in the provision of needed infrastructure and social welfare programs. The National Social Investment Program is already utilizing recovered funds to touch the lives of vulnerable Nigerians,” he said.

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