By Anayo Ezugwu
THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences, ICPC, has honoured Opeyemi Peter Adeboye, a music director, for winning its anti-corruption music competition 2020. Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman, ICPC, said Adeboye competed with 894 other entries and received votes and endorsement from the public and assessment by a panel of judges before emerging the winner.
In his keynote address at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption, Owasanoye also announced Chikezie Favour, a 12-year-old JSS2 student of Mountain Crest High School, Owerri Imo State, as the winner of Junior Secondary School essay competition and Matilda Daniels, 14-year old SS1 student of Topgrade Secondary School in Lagos as the winner of the Senior Secondary school essay competition.
On Public Service Integrity Award, Owasanoye presented the award to two distinguished Nigerians. He announced Francis Osagie Erhabor, Chief Superintendent of Police and Hamza Adamu Buwai of the federal ministry of trade and investment as the winners of the award in 2020. He said while serving as Pipeline Commander, Erhabor variously refused bribes from smugglers of adulterated petroleum products. “For these and other acts of integrity, he has won a number of integrity awards, the latest being the 2020 ICPC Public Service Integrity Award.”
For Buwai, Owasanoye said he was a member of ACTU at the National Boundary Commission where he saved N2.5 billion from going into defunct Société Générale Bank in 2004, despite pressure from those who knew the bank was on its way to liquidation and yet wanted the money paid to the bank. “As Deputy Director (Capital Expenditures) and Chairman of Liability Committee in the Ministry of Defense, he saved government N7.9 billion already paid to contractors in 2010, but deliberately repeated in the Liabilities list. For placing national interest above self, Mallam Hamza Adamu Buwai is today honoured with the 2020 ICPC Public Service Integrity Award.”
According to Owasanoye, the commission’s Constituency Projects Tracking is not targeted at lawmakers. He said the commission introduced the constituency projects tracking initiative in 2019 and expanded its scope to include executive projects this year. He said the commission had special attention to track projects in agriculture, water resources, power, education and health.
“The second phase of tracking covered 722 projects spread across 16 states. Due to COVID-19 and acute shortage of manpower, we used a threshold of N100 million for project selection. This means that we left out projects below N100 million values.
“This decision produced the unintended consequence of concentration on projects of Senators and very few projects from the lower chamber. I will like to put it on record that we did not set out to target the lawmakers by this exercise,” he said.
Owasanoye stated that projects tracked at phase one were selected by the steering committee, comprising Budget Office, Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, Media, CSOs and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. He said the 2020 exercise revealed some improvement in project delivery, but added that the commission was faced with many challenges.
“We discovered that a number of projects described in the budget as ongoing were new projects. We discovered that projects are recommended for communities that do not need them. Such projects are abandoned, in spite of the huge sums appropriated for them. We discovered that projects were cited in private houses on private land thus appropriating common assets to personal use and totally denying communities expected to benefit.”
The chairman said the commission’s effort had forced 59 contractors handling projects worth N2.25 billion, back to sites. “The list of affected projects is contained in the Interim Report for 2020. We must also mention that we noted that some projects were very well done and met the value for money threshold. Such projects are also listed in the report. We have recovered and returned to beneficiaries assets worth about N700 million and cash of almost N200 million,” he said.
– Sept. 28, 2020 @ 17:09 GMT |