The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday recommended that constituency projects be handed over to communities in order for them to achieve their objectives.

Recall that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had on the November 20 reacted angrily over reports credited to ICPC that legislators usually use constituency projects to steal public funds.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also claimed that the government has spent 1 trillion naira on constituency projects in the past 10 years without meaningful impact on the lives and welfare of ordinary citizens.

Constituency projects are projects in any community that is nominated into a budget by a particular legislator majorly for the socio and economic development of that community.

Chairman of ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye made the recommendation in Abuja at the National Conversation on Citizen Ownership of Constituency Projects, jointly organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the commission.

According to Owasanoye, communities’ needs to understand that constituency projects are funded by tax payers, and as such, they should take ownership of the projects.

“We recommend that constituency projects should be handed over to communities for ownership, safeguarding and maintenance

“Communities need to understand that constituency projects are funded by tax payers, and so they should take ownership of projects in their communities,” Owasanoye said.

The ICPC boss also added that the anti-graft agency is out to look at the things that under develop the country, as well as analyse them and also ensure that they are brought to a halt.

“Constituency Projects will not be the same in the next fiscal year because of the light we are putting in it

“The debate is not about what is appropriated VS what is released; the debate is about getting value for money,” he said.

He also gave insight into on what will be done to wrongdoers who failed in implementation of projects: “ICPC has not ruled out prosecution of wrongdoers in constituency projects implementation; we will prosecute, but we’d rather contractors went back to site to complete such projects for beneficial value to communities.”

On his part, the Director General of NOA, Garba Abari said there is a compelling need for the sensitization of citizens to appreciate the import of the projects.

“As we are approaching the next budget cycle, there is a compelling need that citizens are sensitized to appreciate the import of the projects, protect them, and ensure that there is real value for money,” Abari said.

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