The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it will probe the allocation of N5.6 billion to the ministries of foreign affairs and justice for the execution of zonal intervention projects.
The anti-graft agency said while N2.7 billion was allocated to the ministry of justice, N2.9 billion was allocated to the ministry of foreign affairs for constituency projects.
Speaking at a media roundtable in Abuja, Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC chairman, said the alleged allocations showed some of the anomalies surrounding the implementation of constituency projects across the country.
He said projects designed to bring development to rural communities in the country have been included in the budgets of non-relevant ministries and agencies.
“What is constituency project doing in Foreign Affairs? We will ask questions with this kind of allocation,” Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC spokesperson, quoted the chairman as saying in a statement.
He said only about 60 percent of the constituency projects have been completed and that a lot of them were executed in shoddy ways “due to poor technical designs, impositions and other sundry irregularities”.
Owasanoye asked for the handover of zonal intervention projects to local government authorities upon completion for effective maintenance and sustainability of the projects.
“If somebody had nominated a project and succeeded in getting the project to the community, it is not the duty of the person to maintain it,” he said.
“Communities need to understand that it was public funds that were used. They need to take ownership. We recommend that the project needs to be handed over to the local government for the community to take over.”
Also speaking at the event, Garba Abari, director-general of National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the involvement of communities in the planning and execution of constituency projects will remove the issues of corruption and abuse.
Abari said this will ensure that the contractors do not use substandard materials for the projects.
– Tony Nwajei