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Quantity surveyors in talks with ICPC for constituency projects’ evaluation

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Onashile

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) may enter into a partnership with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to evaluate executed constituency projects by members of the National Assembly.

The move will allow the professional costing and valuation of the executed projects to ensure that government gets value for money spent.

Concerns over transparency in the execution of consistency projects in the country have remained an issue.

For instance, civic group, committed to government financial transparency, BudgIT, last month said about 68 percent of the 1,497 federal constituency projects approved in the 2018 budget, have not been delivered till date.

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The group stated this during the launch of a new project tracking report, in Lagos revealed that only 475 projects representing 32percent of the projects nominated by federal lawmakers were completed as of November 2019.

In its assessment on the constituency projects between June 2018 and November 2019, the report stated that 144 projects were ongoing; 536 were not done; 42 remain abandoned; 224 were located in unspecified locations, noting that 49 projects were not tracked.

According to the Principal Lead, BudgIT Nigeria, Mr. Gabriel Okeowo, the organisation tracked the projects across the nation through its platform called Tracka, designed to enable citizens follow up on budgetary capital expenditure and constituency projects in respective communities to enhance service delivery by all tiers of the Nigerian government.

The report listed challenges which had continued to hamper constituency projects’ performance in the country to include, proliferation of empowerment projects; contract inflation; unspecified project location in the budget; use of substandard products and citizens lack of awareness of budgetary provisions among others.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also said there was little to show for over N1tn budgeted for constituency projects of National Assembly members in the last 10 years.

Speaking at a national summit on, “Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service”, in Abuja, the president had confirmed government’s fear that constituency projects did not get to the ordinary people as initially envisaged.

Confirming this development, the immediate past President of NIQS, Obafemi Onashile observed that quantity surveyors have a cost database to benchmark any construction.

According to him, the partnership was based on the request of the ICPC and the institute.

He said, “A politician is saying an overhead tank cost N200m. Accountants can agree and process, but quantity surveyors have a cost database to benchmark any construction. We are doing this as an independent assessor, virtually pro-bono. We have gone into this agreement to work as professionals; not as contractors.”


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