From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Tuesday said it has so far tracked 1,251 projects executed within the 2019 and 2020 budgetary appropriations. A breakdown shows 1,024 constituency and 227 executive projects respectively.
The Commission also announced the commencement of Phase 3 of the exercise, aimed at reconciling expenditure with output.
ICPC Spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, in a statement noted that the tracking of constituency and executive projects is an initiative of the Commission that began in 2019, focusing on how well money allocated to critical sectors of education, health, agriculture, water resources and power amongst others, by the government are utilized.
The Commission explained that the first phase of the exercise was held in 2019 in 12 states and the FCT and saw the tracking of 524 projects. The second phase in 2020 had about 822 projects tracked in 16 states.
It disclosed that the first two phases of the programme led to the recovery of assets worth billions of naira to the government, return of equipment to communities for whom they were meant.
Also, about 300 contractors returned to sites and completed previously poorly done or abandoned projects. Adding however, that the exercise also led to revelation that some projects were excellently and completely executed.
“The Commission is following up the first two phases of the projects with the community sensitization and enlightenment programmes, receipt, and handling of enquiries. “Some cases of diversion of project funds from the first two phases are being investigated.
“Phase 3 of the constituency and executive projects tracking exercise is slated to take place in 17 states – Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau and Kogi. Others are Benue, Ondo, Osun, Lagos, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Edo, Anambra and Imo States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The focus, as in the previous years, will be on priority sectors of agriculture, education, power, health and water resources.
“The objective of the tracking exercise is to ensure that the Appropriation Act is fully implemented as contemplated by law, monitor the implementation of the projects from inception to completion, make recoveries on projects/contracts confirmed to have been inflated, and investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for constituency and executive projects.
“The reason is to improve service delivery to the people, ensure the full execution of all projects, guarantee value for money in the implementation of the projects and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the implementation of the projects, and increase recovery of public funds into government coffers, among others.
“The Commission hopes to close the gap between expenditure and development and the swallowing of scarce government resources characterized by shoddy handling of constituency projects through its enforcement and preventive mandate”, she noted.