The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and ActionAID on Tuesday co-organized a public information and enlightenment programme at Premier Hotel, Ibadan. According to the organizers, the sensitization programme was meant to be an eye-opener for constituents on their duties as citizens, one of which is to track all public projects in their localities.
The one-day town hall meeting tagged “My Constituency, My Project” had in attendance various stakeholders, including political office holders, traditional rulers, community heads, religious leaders, among others. Some of the public office holders sighted at the event were the majority and minority leaders of Oyo State House of Assembly, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun among others.
In his welcome address, the director-general of NOA Dr. Garba Abari, who was represented by the Oyo State director Mrs. Dolapo Dosumu, said that “projects are sponsored by members of the National Assembly during the budget cycle to drive the need to get development closer to grassroots. It is a model that has come to stay despite hot debate around it.”
“This is the 20th year of uninterrupted democracy in our country. Our concern should be how this vehicle of development can be made to deliver the desired gains to the people,” he added.
Speaking further, he noted that the position of the NOA was that “when communities take ownership of these projects, there would be genuine interest to preserve and protect them. Everyone involved, the assembly members, contractors and whomsoever should all be held accountable should there be any lapses in the approved projects. Also, it is high time the citizens change the perception that such projects are donations from the politicians.”
While delivering his keynote address, Mr. Stephen Pimor, the ICPC Commissioner for Oyo and Ogun States laid emphasis on the expected outcome of the town hall meeting. “Constituency and government projects sensitization is to ensure citizens play their roles so as to make everyone benefit from the projects.”
The ICPC made it known that in its drive to stop corruption from such projects, it launched a project known as Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG) in 2019 to monitor whether constituency projects were executed satisfactorily. The ICPC noted that the CPTG achieved a lot and made concerned persons account for several abandoned projects and most importantly help some projects to completion.
“Remember, government projects in your constituency are your projects; you have the responsibility to monitor, protect and report all fraudulent or unwholesome acts regarding these projects”, he added.
He further reiterated the resolve of the ICPC in carrying out out various sensitization activities to make people know what it is doing to fight corruption; what acts amount to corruption; and to get them to be part of the fight against corruption.