The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has announced plans to start the fourth phase of its Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Exercise.
According to a statement by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugwa, Friday, the commission said it will track about 550 projects in 18 states.
The anti-corruption agency said the exercise will commence on May 9, 2022. It added that it will focus on executive projects (federal government-funded capital projects).
The states are – Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti State, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Last August, the commission announced the commencement of the third phase of the Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Exercise.
Along with FCT, the states where the projects were tracked were Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau and Kogi. Others are Benue, Ondo, Osun, Lagos, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Edo, Anambra and Imo.
Constituency project tracking
The zonal intervention projects, popularly known as constituency projects, were first introduced during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
Under the scheme which has been characterised by poor execution of projects, federal lawmakers are given the opportunity to nominate projects to be sited in their constituencies in a budget year.
The projects are supposed to be executed by the relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government in the budgets of the federation or state.
But in reality, the lawmakers, sometimes with the connivance of some officials of the relevant MDAs, the lawmakers are responsible for appointing contractors for the projects which usually ended up being poorly executed or not executed at all.
PREMIUM TIMES in July 2019 reported the ICPC, saying an estimated N2 trillion was spent on constituency projects in Nigeria since 2000 amid growing agitation by ordinary Nigeriana about poor execution or non-execution of the projects.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari had also 2019 said there had been very few benefits to the grassroots from the N1 trillion earmarked for constituency projects in the previous 10 years.
Focus in fourth tracking
ICPC said the focal sectors of Phase 4 of its tracking exercise would be education, health, water resources, agriculture, and rural development as well as power sectors.
“The mandate of the tracking exercise is to investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for the projects, ensure projects are executed to the specified standard and that value-for-money is obtained, monitor the implementation of the projects from inception to completion in collaboration with critical stakeholders, and make recoveries on projects/contracts confirmed to have been inflated or in which contractors under-performed or did not perform at all.
“In addition, the objectives of the tracking initiative include compelling the return of runaway contractors to sites to complete hitherto abandoned projects, tracking contracting companies for all statutory regulatory compliance, among others as well as prosecuting persons or institutions found culpable in undermining the execution of government-funded projects,” the commission stated.
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