The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to start the tracking of projects being executed by government ministries and departments to ensure quality project delivery across the country.
Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, revealing this at a two-day retreat for management of the Commission and members of the National Assembly Committees on Anti-Corruption, said that tracking of executive projects, in addition to the on-going tracking of constituency projects would start in March this year.
Owasanoye said that the new initiative, called Constituency and Executive Project Tracking Group, became necessary following the huge success recorded by the Commission in the tracking of constituency projects.
He said, “We fully appreciate that apart from constituency projects, other projects being executed by ministries, departments, and agencies that are not connected to members of the National Assembly will also be tracked.
‘Consequently, starting from March, ICPC will commence the tracking of both executive and constituency projects.”
The ICPC boss stated that the Commission had already listed priority sectors and projects for the exercise adding that the focus would be on key sectors of education, health, agriculture, power and water resources.
He further said that the Commission would employ technology to track all priority projects, even as the 2020 national budget had been broken down and analyzed by ICPC to ensure proper tracking.
According to him, “We have already dissected the 2020 budget. We have broken it down on a sectoral basis. We will also leverage on technology. We have engaged partners who have technologies that will track all the hospitals in Nigeria. We will use these technologies so that nobody will lie to us.”
Professor Owasanoye used the retreat to also speak on the perceived misconception surrounding constituency projects tracking.
He said it was a well-thought initiative by legislators to bring government closer to the electorate, however, the implementation had become a source of concern.
Consequently, the aim of the tracking was to ensure that projects that touched the lives of Nigerians at the grassroots were delivered to the people.
He also spoke on pending legislations such as the Special Crime Court, the Proceeds of Crime and other anti-corruption bills before the National Assembly, urging the members to quickly pass them into law to boost the fight against corruption.
The Chairman, House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Honourable Shehu Sani, in his paper presentation, observed that the retreat offered the National Assembly and ICPC opportunities to build a good working relationship.
He said, “As one of the agencies the Committee is and will be over-sighting and appropriating funds for over the next three years, this engagement provides us with an opportunity to establish a common ground in our desire to work in sync with ICPC in the discharge of its mandate as spelt out in its enabling law.”
Sani decried the negative impact of corruption on the country saying “The theft of public funds earmarked for the development of critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructural projects inevitably denies the nation and its people of progress and improved well-being.
‘A people denied good health are being killed physically, a people denied good education are being killed mentally, and a people denied adequate regular power supply, good transportation system, and other infrastructural necessities that facilitate productive and gainful life, are being killed economically and emotionally.”
He added that the 9th National Assembly would support the anti-corruption agencies through review of existing legislation and increased funding for ICPC and EFCC to enable them perform effectively.