ICPC Boss, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) said it would soon commence tracking and monitoring of constituency projects in Jigawa.

The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye stated this at a town hall meeting on Friday in Dutse.

The meeting tagged, “My Constituency, My Project” was organised by the commission, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Owasanoye, represented by Alhaji Zayyanu Danmusa, Commissioner in charge of Jigawa and Kano states, said that the projects would be tracked and monitored through the Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG).

According to Owasanoye, the CPTG was launched in 2019 to ensure that such projects were executed satisfactorily.

He said that the ICPC was a government agency with specific mandate to fight corruption in three ways.

The chairman said the ways are investigating reports of corruption, prosecuting those who committed the corrupt acts and examining ways government organisations perform their work.

“In 2019, we commenced the first phase of tracking with 12 states to ensure constituency projects were executed satisfactorily.

“The CPTG is a huge success with communities in the pilot states because lots of abandoned projects were completed, or are now being completed because of intervention of ICPC.

`The exercise led to the recovery of equipment and machinery meant to benefit ordinary people, but kept away and were not distributed.

“Many of such have been now been distributed to beneficiaries, and have since been put to use.

“In the process also, the ICPC recovered money for the government from those who did not execute projects, underperformed or inflated the cost of projects,” he said.

He gave the assurance that the commission would continue to track projects this year as the second phase of the exercise was about to commence.

“Importantly, the scope of the exercise has now been widened to include projects which are specifically developed and implemented by the Executive arm of government.

“So, we are gathered here today to talk about how the people can be involved in the process of selecting, implementing and monitoring these projects for the purpose of transparency and accountability,” he said.

In his remarks, NOA Director-General, Dr. Garba, said that the commission had been questioning the process of location and implementation of constituency projects.

Abari, represented by the state Director, Shuaibu Haruna, said that the process was to get the citizens to take ownership of the projects since such projects were essentially meant to serve the communities.

“It is our view that when communities take ownership of the projects, there will be genuine interest to preserve and protect them.

“It will also ensure that contractors, eager to maximise profits, execute projects to the standard required.

“Community ownership will also ensure that legislators and other officials of government are alerted when there is poor execution of contracts and that they are also held accountable,” Abari said.

He further said that since the introduction of the constituency projects, a number of safeguards had been evolved to avoid abuse of process.