Northern Nigerian Breaking News

2022: ICPC begins fifth phase of constituency projects tracking

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says it will commence the tracking of 712 government-funded projects nationwide as from Nov. 8.

The Commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

It will be the fifth phase of the constituency and executive projects tracking by the commission.

The commission had earlier in the year completed the fourth phase of the projects tracking.

According to Ogugua, the fifth phase will involve tracking 712 government-funded projects in 21 states across the six geopolitical zones.

“The states are Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Cross River, Delta, Rivers, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe States.

“As with other tracking exercises carried out by ICPC since the kick-off in 2019, the objective of the phase five is to investigate fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for the selected projects across the country.

“It aims to ensure that all government funded projects are executed fully to their specifications, and to make recoveries where the project costs are inflated by contractors or are poorly executed, ” she said.

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Ogugua explained that the commission, had in the fourth phase of the exercise, successfully tracked 538 projects across nine focal areas of Health, Education, Power, Water Resources, Works, Housing, Agriculture, Transport, and Environment.

“The exercise was conducted in 19 states across the six geopolitical zones and the FCT including Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Enugu, Ebonyi, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba, Borno and FCT.

“Some of the findings from the phase four exercise include discovery of N7.1 billion worth of padded projects.

“Some contractors who had abandoned project sites are being compelled to return to different sites to complete N10.9 billion worth of projects, while N6.8 billion worth of recoveries, cash and assets, have been made so far”, she said

“Also, 109 out of the 543 selected projects in phase four, amounting to N1,176,867,800 were found to have been inserted, which effectively turned them into Zonal Intervention Projects.

“Intelligence revealed that the insertions were done by both legislators and some members of the Executive arm of the government in the budget-making process.

“Though phase four was intended to focus solely on Executive projects, it however became another exercise in constituency projects tracking, because of the quantum of budget padding found amongst the selected projects,” she added.

The ICPC official explained further that the fifth phase of the exercise would  be carried out in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

She listed the stakeholders to include the Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General and that of Auditor-General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, the Media and Civil Society Organizations. (NAN)

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