Current Time: January 22, 2018 17:29:40pm Last Update: January 22, 2018 10:28:41am
Home|Forum|Conferences|Concepts|Research|TrueColour|Business Developemnt         
iWitness | Register | Login | Subscribe         

Nigeria > Nigeria
Nigeria: Payment for constituency projects without clearance to attract EFCC probe
Addthis Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Gmail
By Theo Adegoke
September 29, 2017 03:00:28am GMT      |      Views: 355
The National Assembly Complex, Abuja

WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) now risk being invited for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if they pay for constituency projects without clearance from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. Habiba Lawal who gave the warning at the opening of the Stakeholders' Interactive Forum on the Implementation of Zonal Intervention/Constituency Projects, in Abuja warned that no MDAs should pay out money on constituency project except it gets clearance from office of the SGF.

The stakeholders' meeting was to enhance working relationship with partners in the implementation of the Zonal Intervention/Constituency Projects and Programmes.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office (OSGF), William Alo, she said "This is tax payers money that must be accounted for. A team from the office of SGF will visit the project and carry out due diligence and ensure it was done according to specifications before payment will be authorized.

"If you pay without clearance is embezzlement and is corruption. This is government policy we are duty bound to adhere to it.

"Henceforth projects must have impact on the lives of the people. That is the bottomline of this stakeholders forum."

According to her, President Muhammadu Buhari was particularly interested in the timely and effective execution of these projects which were in line with his administration Change Agenda, hence the resolve to verify, monitor and evaluate all hear projects in order to ensure optimal value for money.

"The intervention by the Executive to situate the supervision of the Constituency projects in the OSGF is aimed at ensuring that these projects are not abandoned even when members of the National Assembly facilitating them leave office,” she said.

"The Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) are responsible for the actual implementation of these projects while the OSGF will monitor, evaluate, verify implementation and authorize payment at various stages of execution. Therefore, payments for constructs under the Zonal Intervention/Constituency projects will be made based on satisfactory performance in order to ensure value for money.

"Furthermore, contractors handling Zonal Intervention/Constituency projects shall only be paid upon authorization by the OSGF."

She said that the essence of the meeting was to ensure accountability and transparency.

In his remarks, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Constituency Outreach, Lawal Abubakar, said that  constituency projects were meant to alleviate poverty and execute projects in communities usually overlooked in budgetary allocations.

According to him, the primary function of the legislature was to make lawyers, noting that no matter how vibrant a lawmaker in the National Assembly, it would meaningless to the constituents if their representatives do not facilitate the execution of projects in their communities.

He said, "We do not understand the struggle between the executive and legislature on whose responsibility it is to carry out the constitutional projects as long as the people will be the beneficiary at the end of the day.

"The legislature and executive must work together if the welfare of the people are to be met. If they work at cross purposes the interest of the people will be seriously endangered."

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also said that it was within the purview of the legislature to bring out projects that would be beneficial to their constituencies that must have escaped those at the national level during budgetary appropriation, but kicked against a situation where  money appropriated for project did not reflect the actual cost of the project as well as non-release of funds for projects.

He advised that a mechanism for successful completion of projects must be put in place even after the initiator has left the scene.

Addthis Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Gmail

Share |


Related News
- January 22, 2018 10:24:38am GMT

- January 22, 2018 10:18:23am GMT

- January 22, 2018 08:12:49am GMT

- January 22, 2018 07:44:52am GMT

- January 22, 2018 07:20:47am GMT