ICPC says monitoring of constituency projects yielding results, urge Nigerians to report infractions

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, has disclosed readiness to ensure value for the vast sums of money spent on constituency projects even as it has resolved to continue to prosecute culprits.

Aliyu assured that the anti-graft agency would go after contractors or individuals who commit infractions while divulging that the introduction of constituency project tracking in 2019 had consistently reduced the incidence of corruption in the execution of Zonal Intervention Projects, ZIPs, popularly called Constituency Projects.

He made this known during a radio town hall meeting on constituency project tracking in Karu/Keffi/Kokona Federal Constituency, urging citizens to report cases of abandoned or poorly executed projects and other infractions in constituency projects around them.

The meeting was organized by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, at the weekend in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

ICPC Chairman, represented by the Commission’s Acting Director of Operations, Shehu Yahaya, assured that the Commission will investigate the erosion control project in Angwa Jabba, Alubo Community, Karu, Nasarawa state, which has failed to take off since 2023 despite the reported release of funds.

He said, “If a project is done and does not meet standard, ICPC will make the contractor correct the problem; if a project is overpriced, we recover the excess. Where there is a total failure, we (ICPC) will make them return to the site, but if the infraction is severe, we will prosecute in court.

“ICPC is statutorily obliged to investigate and take action against reports of infractions in constituency projects, whether it is part of the projects we are tracking that period or not. So, I will report to the relevant officers to look into the failed erosion control project in Angwar Jabba, Alubo, Karu, Nasarawa state

“If constituents of Karu, Keffi, or elsewhere write to us (ICPC) or bring issues of abandoned projects, poorly executed projects, or infractions, we will look into it,” Yahaya assured.

He noted that “ICPC’s primary aim of tracking constituency projects across Nigeria is for the government to get value for money it is spending on Zonal Intervention Projects, improve service delivery and ensure projects are executed according to specifications.

“In the course of tracking projects, we come across abandoned projects, overpriced or inflated projects, but at the moment, we have seen that some of the infractions that existed before now are on the decline, and citizens are getting more interested – these are some of the achievements on the ground.”

Yahaya clarified that the Commission can’t track every project but select a few because of manpower, noting that tracking constituency projects comes in phases and projects to be tracked are professionally selected in collaboration with civil society groups and the media.

On his part, a member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. John Ovey, represented by his Special Adviser, Hon. Michael Gambo Anzaku, revealed the lawmaker prioritizes needs assessment before conceptualizing projects in his constituency.

Anzaku promised to report issues of poorly constructed road projects in one of the communities while commending PRIMORG for availing them the opportunity to enlighten the public.

“My principal factors in needs assessment of the community when bringing projects and have been putting a structure on the ground for sustainability of projects by forming committees to oversee the day-to-day running of completed projects.”

Nasarawa State Officer, BudgIT, Princess Sarah Musa, identified the politicization of sharing of empowerment projects as a serious challenge of constituency project tracking, adding that the needs assessment of projects sponsored by lawmakers remains a big problem.

Musa called on the government to beam their searchlight on the quality of service delivered by contractors and urged citizens to stop being laid back on following up on constituency projects.

“From my experience on the field, less than 70 percent of representatives carry out needs assessments, contractors are using substandard materials to construct projects, resulting in longevity issues; the government must go hard on contractors,” she stressed.

A resident of Keffi, Nasiru Yahaya, on his part, lauded the constituency projects initiative, saying that “it is helping his community to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He revealed that people in their constituency are provided with different channels to reach their representatives and lay complaints about their challenges. Additionally, people today are more aware that they need to maintain and prevent constituency projects from undue harm.

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