The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has commended the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for its Constituency and Executive Project Tracking initiative (CEPTi).
The President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha made the commendation in Abuja on Thursday during a high-level stakeholders conference on the theme, Fighting Corruption in Nigeria: The Past, the Present and the Future. The conference was convened by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
Speaking during the event, President Buhari noted that constituency projects used to be “conduit pipe” for self-aggrandizement but that with the intervention of ICPC, a lot is being done to ensure that both the government and constituents have value for money appropriated.
“Today, there is a rebirth of the National Assembly as the issue of budget padding has been addressed, resulting in the initiation and completion of constituency and Federal Government projects nationwide. I must commend the ICPC for tracking constituency projects because in the past, was a major conduit pipe,” the Nigerian leader stated.
The President also spoke on how his effort at checkmating corruption led to the recovery of huge resources, which were directed towards critical and physical infrastructure such as roads, rail lines, bridges, airports, seaports in order to boast the economy.
He therefore tasked the Anti-Corruption Agencies to concentrate more on asset recovery regime in order to deny looters the proceeds of their crime.
Making a presentation during the conference, the ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, who was represented by the Director, System Study and Review Department (SSRD), Mr. Abbia Udofia, gave a summarized breakdown of the Commission’s success story under the current administration in line with its statutory mandate of enforcement, system study and review as well as education and public enlightenment.
Speaking on the positives of the CEPTi, the Chairman highlighted how the exercise had forced contractors who hitherto had abandoned projects or executed projects shoddily to mobilize back to sites to either complete such projects or ensure their excellent execution.
The ICPC boss also spoke against the backdrop of constant abuse of personnel costs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). He therefore pointed out that through its system study and review intervention, the Commission retrained huge sums of money running into billions of naira which would have been diverted.
He further underscored how other initiatives such as Corruption Risk Assessment, National Ethics and Integrity Policy, National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector and the Public Service Integrity Award among other interventions were yielding positive result in the fight against corruption.