The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has identified lack of needs assessment and lack of synergy between outgoing and incoming legislators as some of the major reasons for poor or non-execution of constituency projects.
Assistant Commissioner of Constituency and Executive Project Tracking of the Commission, Mr Jimoh Suleiman made the disclosure during PUBLIC CONSCIENCE produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG.
It will be recalled the anti-graft agency began the implementation of second phase of the constituency and executive projects tracking following success it claimed to have recorded in the first phase.
Suleiman who further described the commission’s findings during the second phase of the commission’s project tracking as mind boggling, further revealed that the commission selected one hundred and fifty projects for tracking but ended up tracking seven hundred and twenty project in the sixteen states.
He added that ICPC discovered that more projects were executed during the second phase and singled out MDAs and sponsors whose project conformed to specification.
Explaining further on the challenges rocking smooth execution of constituency projects, Suleiman had this to say: “I would say lack of needs assessment before projects are sited in communities. We have seen where two projects of the same value for the same sector sited in the same community.
“There is no synergy between an outgoing legislator and incoming one, who has domiciled a project in the community. For instance, if legislator A has domiciled a project in a community, if he loses election, the incoming legislator will not take that as a priority in spite of the money government has spent in the project, rather, the legislator will look for another project and there is no continuity.
“In Katsina state, an outgoing legislator wanted to empower his people by giving them fertilizer but he lost election at the point of distribution and was not interested in distributing the fertilizer any longer until our tracker discovered that there were two thousand bags of fertilizers undistributed to the people it is meant for,” he revealed.
He also accused assistants to legislator of aiding fraud inhibiting the execution of constituency projects. According to Suleiman the recoveries made from the second phase cannot be measure in the mean time.
He said ICPC recovered two rigs in the second phase of project tracking adding that other equipment recovered include over one thousand water pumps, Hilux and Voxwagen cars, two thousand three hundred bags of fertilizers, transformers, sewing machines, water treatment plant in private farm, television sets, refrigerators, bed and beddings, fifty-seven units of computers and nineteen units of generators.
“We recovered them and we are in the process of eventually persecuting the people who committed the infractions,” Suleiman assured.
On her part, the Spokesperson of the Commission, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, while explaining more on ICPC’s Constituency Project Tracking revealed that the commission tracked projects in more states in the second phase.
Adding that the exercise was made possible with the collaborations of the media, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyor and some Civil Society Organizations.
She called on Nigerians to get involved in governance and make demands on leaders at all levels, particularly legislators.
Her words: “You need to be involved in the entire process in planning, budget execution, budget implementation and budget monitoring and that takes us to this constituency project.
“Constituency projects are usually domiciled with Ministries, Departments and Agencies. So, at local and state government level citizens need to be aware of what is going on.
“Citizens should not only be aware but participate. Once they participate in nominating a project, they will be given what they want,” Ogugua advised.