By Muhammad Nasir Bello
Tambuwal (Sokoto state) – The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Steering Committee has begun its work to track and ascertain projects executed by National Assembly members in Sokoto State.
The Team leader, Mr Akibu Garba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Tambuwal, Sokoto State, on Friday that the mandate of the team was to investigate alleged fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for constituency projects .
He said the committee was set up to monitor and track the performance of constituency projects, values the work done and identify the contractual sum and contractors, unearth payments made, identify the status and persons behind the projects.
Garba, who is also the Assistant Chief Education Officer, ICPC, Sokoto state, said the team would also track contracting companies for all statutory regulatory compliance, including tax obligation.
He also that the team would ascertain the value and impact of the projects for the various communities where they were established.
“We are to make recoveries, as need may arise, and also determine whether or not the contract sum is inflated while tracing the level of compliance of the contracting companies with the statutory compliance organisations.
“This is in order to confirm whether funds were moved into any account of the stakeholders,” he said.
Garba also disclosed that the exercise aimed to recover bidding and tender documents for the constituency projects.
The project sites visited by the group include: Sokoto-Jega-Kontagora road and construction of Divisional Police station at Modo village of Tambuwal Local Government Area of the state.
Alhaji Abubakar Umar, The Village Head of Modo village, said that the project was of less benefit to the people of his community, because of it was not close to them.
He said his people could not trek the distance to maximise the benefit of the project.
“So we are appealing for more beneficial projects within our community in order for the people to benefit directly as part of the main purpose of doing such.
Umar, however, advised the politicians to always dialogue with the community leaders and members, to seek their advice on needs of the people and the benefit to them.
NAN reports that the initiative, launched in April 2019, is to ensure satisfactory execution of all constituency projects to ensure that people obtain value for money.
NAN gathered that the committee members would in the first phase visit, at least, five project sites in each of the 12 states: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Enugu, Edo, Lagos, Osun, Imo, Sokoto, Kano and Kogi. (NAN)