James Ojo, Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered over N9.2 billion and arrested 59 directors in one ministry over inflation of personnel costs.
According to the chairman of the commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the amount recovered so far had been paid into the recovery account of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Speaking ahead of the public presentation of the reports of Phase 1 Constituency Projects Tracking by the commission in collaboration with other agencies yesterday, Owasanoye said that the discovery was part of efforts to check breach of financial guidelines in public service.
According to him, the amount recovered was in excess of budgetary allocations of personnel costs from the budget but exposed by e- government, which established that the budget was padded.
In just one ministry, which he did not name, the ICPC boss said that 59 directors were arrested after some huge lodgments were found in their accounts, and were made to refund them.
From the 59 directors, N3billion was recovered and was paid into the government recovery account.
On the monitoring of constituency projects, he said that the commission recorded startling revelations in the 12 states selected as pilot scheme, the reports which will be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari next week.
Owasanoye stated that the commission went out to assess 100 constituency projects, but end up with 400.
He said that it was discovered that the location of most projects was influenced by the sponsors, who were National Assembly members.
As a result of the intervention of ICPC in the controversy over constituency projects in the selected states, over 200 contractors have gone back to sites that had been abandoned.
The intervention also led to the discovery of 317 companies, who neither fulfilled the contractual agreements and did a poor job, while some did not do anything after collecting money.
Owasanoye noted that the areas where it was difficult to track included capacity building and empowerment projects because they were not physical.
Some projects, he said, were executed to specifications, while some were not, but assured that the involvement of ICPC has restored sanity in both the planning and execution of constituency projects.
In the reports to be presented to the president, Owasanoye said findings in projects allocation to the ministries, departments and agencies, geopolitical zones, states and local governments have been tabulated for easy analysis.