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ICPC begins investigation of N15bn constituency projects in 12 states

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will on Tuesday commence the first phase of investigation of fraudulent procurement practices in the award of over N15bn contracts for constituency and other projects in 12 states located in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

According to a statement issued on Monday by the spokesperson of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, the investigating panel will visit Lagos, Osun, Kogi, Benue, Adamawa, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Imo, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, and Edo States.

Okoduwa said that five projects, at least, would be investigated in each state.

The commission said that the aims of the exercise were, among others, to monitor implementation of the projects from inception to completion, make recoveries on projects confirmed to have been inflated, uncompleted or not executed, and track contracting companies for all statutory regulatory compliance, including tax obligations.

The commission launched the initiative in April 2019 with the primary objective of ensuring satisfactory execution of all constituency projects as well as ensuring value for the money spent on the constituency projects.

The ICPC is carrying out the exercise with support from the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Premium Times, International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Public and Private Development Centre, Bureau of Public Procurement, Community for Peace and Corrupt-free Society and BudgIT.

In Lagos, the investigating committee would visit the site of the construction of a community recreation centre in Epe, which was awarded at the cost of N720m in 2016.

It will also visit 21 schools in Surulere, Iponri, Lagos Island, Oke-Suna, Eti-Osa, Ajiran, and Lagos Mainland where projects were awarded for the construction of toilet facilities and the provision of motorised boreholes at the cost of N213m.

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In Osun State, the team will inspect the site where a community education centre was constructed in Ila Oragun at the cost of N350m.

It will also look into an empowerment programme for women and youths on agriculture in some selected parts of the state, which was executed at the cost of N500m.

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In Adamawa, constituency projects worth N540m will be investigated by the panel, while projects worth over N1bn will be investigated in Bauchi State.

Similarly, projects in the same region of cost will be looked into by the ICPC in Kano State.

The anti-corruption agency will also visit sites of projects worth over N1.6bn in Edo State.

Credit: Punch

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