Tuesday, March 17, 2020

ICPC: How we stopped the diversion of constituency items

ICPC: How we stopped the diversion of constituency items
November 08
12:38 2019

Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says the agency stopped the diversion of items for constituency projects by some ”promoters”.

Owasanoye said this on Thursday at a special town-hall meeting on the fight against corruption organised by the ministry of information and culture.

According to him, the N100 billion annual allocation to constituency projects has not achieve the government’s objective.

He said a tracking committee made up of representatives from the budget office, office of the accountant-general of the federation, Bureau of Public Procurement and office of the auditor-general found out that certain projects were not executed and some were not completed.

“If we genuinely spend N2 trillion on infrastructure development over a period of 10 years, it will diminish the tension and the escalation of discontent,” he said.

“In some cases, when the empowerment items were locked up somewhere because somebody wanted to trade them off, we gave them one week to distribute such items to the beneficiaries.

“For me, it makes more sense rather than arresting a senator and locking him up without delivering the items or facilities to the intended beneficiaries.

“With this approach, we may not see the sponsors in jail but the idea is that the communities will be happy and we will be happy also.”

In April, the anti-graft agency partnered civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media to launch Projects Tracking Group (CPTG).

At the launch, Owasanoye said rather than address the needs of Nigerians, many of these projects have become avenues for corruption.

“Over the years, constituency projects have become enmeshed in controversy between non-state actors, the promoters of the projects and the communities that are supposed to benefit from the projects,” he had said.


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