By Lucy Osuizigbo
Awka – The Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Budget and Appropriation on Tuesday urged the state Ministry of Finance to carry out integrity audit on implementation of contracts before disbursement of funds for payments.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Obinna Emenaka, gave the advice during the Ministry of Finance 2020 Budget Defence and Bilateral Engagement with the Assembly’s House Committee in Awka.
Emenaka, representing Anambra East, lamented that the ministry facilitated payments for uncomplicated, abandoned and badly done projects in the state.
“Take for instance, road projects in the state, you pay contractors without going to check if the road in question has been completed or not. Some roads were even done haphazardly, yet you pay these contractors.
“You need to monitor the level or standard of work done before you pay contractors,” he said.
Also, Mrs Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche from Onitsha South, said there was need to get value for the money being paid to contractors in the state.
“These are taxpayers money. We need to ensure that we get value for the money we are paying contractors.
“Before paying contractors, you need to go to supervise the job they have done and be sure they have done the needful,” she said.
Contributing, Dr Pete Ibida, representing Njikoka ll, urged the ministry to imbibe the culture of carrying out ‘integrity audit’ before making payments to project contractors
“As a government ministry, you need to imbibe the culture of carrying out an `Integrity Audit’ as checks to make sure that project contractors are operating in an ethical, fair and honest manner,” Ibida said.
Earlier, Mr Ifeatu Onyejieme, Commissioner, Ministry of Finance, explained that the ministry did not carry out projects but facilitated and provided finances for other ministries, departments and agencies.
“Our major role is to interface with the Federal Government to get our state allocations and other entitlements and interface with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“We are involved in the state’s debt and shares management and we work with consultancy firms in charge of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) windows,” he said.