Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye, has advised members of the National Assembly to “make peace with the media”, as a way to reduce the lingering negative public perception.
Owasanoye, who noted that bad news usually sells, stated this during a budget performance session with the House of Representatives Committee on Procurement on Wednesday.
The committee during the session also queried the chairman and his management team on the implementation of the 2019 budget with respect to capital allocation, especially on why the Commission chooses to procure used vehicles instead of brand new ones as provided for in its budget.
On why his interventions since assuming office have focused mostly on members of the National Assembly and the status of constituency projects, he said the commission handles virtually anything that relates to project implementation both from the executive and the legislature, stating however that “the media chose to publish what it likes, and it appears they have issues with the National Assembly”.
“When we tour projects for assessment and verification, apart from ICPC officials, civil society people are there, the NBA and other professional bodies go on these tours including the media, but the media chose to focus on those ones that have to do with the National Assembly.
“The executive people also come to ICPC to defend the status of projects, but they don’t get the level of media focus and reportage that those of the National Assembly do. So I will suggest you make peace with the media, as it appears that the media has issues with the National Assembly”, he said.
Also on the choice of used vehicles, the Director of Procurement who declined mentioning his name to journalists, told the committee that the Commission had to take advantage of Customs’ auction to procure some operational vehicles, stressing that the budget was for operational vehicles.