The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ( ICPC) says it is set to commence the second phase of its Constituency Project Group Exercise in selected states of the federation including Bauchi.
The Bauchi State Commissioner of the Commission, Abubakar Abdullahi Dustinma disclosed this at a one day Town Hall meeting on Thursday tagged ” My Constituency, My Project” held at Command Guest House Bauchi.
He said in its drive to stop corruption in the projects executed by government, the Commission in 2019 launched the first phase of its Constituency Project Group Exercise with 12 states.
According to him, the first phase of the exercise was a huge success with the communities in the pilot states, on account of the fact that a lot of abandoned projects were completed or are now being completed because of the intervention of ICPC.
Abubakar Dustinma who said the exercise had led to the recovery of equipments and funds meant for the benefit of ordinary people which were kept away, noted that many of such have now been distributed to the beneficiaries.
He said the town hall meeting among others is to request the participants to be involved in the process of selecting, implementing and monitoring the projects to ensure transparency and accountability.
” Our public enlightenment effort today centers on constituency and government projects in this community and the roles citizens have to play to make everyone benefit from the projects.
Constituency projects are the projects that are selected by legislators and provided for in the budgets of government ministries and agencies for execution whereas there are other projects that are developed and implemented directly by the Executive arm of government.
” For this reason, you, the beneficiaries, need to show interest in the selection, execution and use the of these projects. In other words, you need to take ownership of the projects for sustainability in the long term.”
He expressed concern that in the first phase of its exercise which carried out in 12 states across the 6 geo political zones of the country, revealed alot of wrongdoings in how the projects were implemented resulting in the people not benefitting from the projects.
The ICPC Bauchi Commissioner enjoined citizens to use the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 to request for information from relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the status of their constituency and other projects so as to assist the commission to fight against corruption in different areas of national life.
In a key note address, the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abare, said the town hall meeting was organized to sensitize citizens to take interest in government’s development efforts in their communities.
Dr Abare, who spoke through the Bauchi State Director of the Agency, Alhaji Nuru Yusuf Kobi stressed the need for all the stakeholders to make the needed contribution that will help to popularise democratic model of government in the country.
” It is our view that when communities take ownership of these projects, there will be genuine interest to preserve and protect them. It will also ensure that contracts, ever eager to maximize profits, execute the projects to the highest standard required.
” The public perception of these constituency projects is that it is a largesse disbursed by government to legislators as part of the perquisites of office. It is imperative that a new template for implementating the constituency projects be adopted.”
The NOA boss said the new template advocated by the Agency in partnership with ICPC is for the people to own the entire process beginning from conception of execution.
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Participants at the town hall meeting include among others, Members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Caretaker Committee Chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, Media and the Civil Society Organizations.