The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has announced the commencement of Phase 3 of the Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Exercise.
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 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.
The first 2 phases 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 hitherto shoddily done or abandoned projects. The exercise led to revelation that some projects were excellently and completely executed.
The Commission is following up the first 2 phases of the projects with the community sensitization and enlightenment programmes, receipt, and handling of enquiries on the toll-free number (0800-CALL-ICPC/0800-2255-4272) and email@example.com.
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.
A total of 1,251 projects executed within the 2019 and 2020 appropriations have been listed for tracking in this third phase. These include 1,024 constituency and 227 executive projects respectively.
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.
ICPC wishes to acknowledge its partners which include the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, civil society organizations, the media, grassroots community development associations and other critical stakeholders.
The legislature is also giving the Commission its support, as they have indicated that the execution of projects is equally of concern to them.
The exercise will be done with project geo-location and mapping to enhance tracking, meaning that remotely sited projects will also be brought under the tracking space for evaluation.
Media and civil society organizations in the selected states are encouraged to monitor the exercise and give their feedback to the Commission in order to assist us improve the process.
*Mrs. Azuka Ogugua*