From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have arrived in Bayelsa State to probe alleged fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts covering federal constituency and executive projects in the state.
The ICPC is tracking 1,024 constituency and 227 executive projects in agriculture, education, power, health and water resources, among other sectors included in 2019, 2020, and 2021 Appropriation Law of the Federal Government.
The anti-graft agency is tracking similar projects in 17 states of the federation after being inundated with several allegations on the status of the projects.
The first phase of the exercise conducted in 2019 involving 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory resulted in the tracking of 524 projects while the second phase in 2020 had about 822 works tracked in 16 states.
It was learnt that the exercise would last between eight and 10 days and the ICPC officials led by Mr Livinus Idor, would visit project sites in the five Federal Constituencies and three Senatorial Districts of Bayelsa Central, East and West.
According to findings, the ICPC team which arrived in Bayelsa on Monday were said to have visited 16 solar-powered borehole water projects executed in some communities in the Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency of Bayelsa Central.
They had also tracked security infrastructure projects at Federal Government Girls’ College, Imiringi, in the Ogbia Federal Constituency of Bayelsa East, among other contracts.
One of the commission’s investigators, who pleaded for anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the project tracking, said the team would not leave any stone unturned in the exercise.
‘We have over 50 files of projects covering all the sectors that we will track in Bayelsa,’ he said.
‘The essence is that ICPC wants to ensure that contracts awarded and captured in the appropriation laws of 2019, 2020 and 2021 and are carried out according to specifications and quality. Not only that, we want to see how functional they are.’