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Constituency project: ICPC forces over 200 contractors back to site

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ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye. Photo; TWITTER/ICPCPE

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said its ongoing Constituency Projects Tracking initiative has forced over 200 contractors, who executed sub standard projects, back to site.

Owasanoye also insisted that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) must be included in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for accountability.

ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, who disclosed this yesterday, at a press briefing in Abuja, added that the initiative has also created over 100 jobs across states of the federation since contractors started returning to site.

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“We noticed that with our enforcement action, a number of contractors went back to site on their own, over 200 of them, even in locations where we have not gone to.”

“Over 3017 companies are being profiled. If you get any job, the rule is very clear; pay tax and your obligations. We send them to FIRS and as a way we are adding value to the government revenue because as soon as some of them got wind we are coming, they negotiated and agree to go back to work.”

“We found out that over 400 projects were investigated even though we set out to investigate about 80 projects, which tells you how vulnerable the system is. We discovered agencies and sectors that are favourite for planting projects. The reason for that is to enable us engage with other stakeholders to reduce the propensity of these problems. 

There are changes that when you compare their annual budget and projects put in them, the variation is very wide.”

Owasanoye noted that, in some cases, there was no design and where there are designs, sometimes, they are ignored.

“In some areas, we recovered transformers and some before we got there transformers were installed. Our objective was to ensure that there was value for money and get projects are delivered to people. This is the reason for our approach.” 

According to Owasanoye, lawmakers, who executed constituency projects on their personal lands, have been directed by the commission to change the ownership of those projects to the name of the community where they are cited as the projects were executed with public funds.

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“We also found that some projects were allocated and the appropriation made, but some people decided to do what they like, either by changing the location of the project or modifying the project. In fact, in some instances, they put these projects on their personal land without allocating it to the community.”

The ICPC Chairman disclosed that 50 per cent of funds meant for consistency projects were being used for capacity building and empowerment, which he said are not measurable, adding that lawmakers have begun refund of monies collected for consistency projects that were not executed.

Owasanoye, who further disclosed that the commission arrested 59 government officials over N3.9 billion fraud, added that the ICPC has restrained over N1 billion in the last one month from going out of Ministry and Department Agencies (MDAs) account due to the fact that the money was frivolous in their accounts.

The ICPC boss noted that investigation by the commission revealed that monies meant for salaries were been diverted for other purposes, adding that the action was an indication of weakness in the system.

He alleged that most of the agencies were recruiting staff because of the huge money in their portal.

According to him a lot of infractions discovered by the commission were from the educational system, adding:

“From the evidence we have it is very clear that ASUU must be included in the IPPIS, that’s the best way to go,” he said.

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