From Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has said that the Commission is tracking the execution of constituency capital projects across the country so as to ensure proper execution.
The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owosanoye, who said this in a speech during the commemoration of the 2019 African Union Anti-Corruption Day, organised by the ICPC, Bauchi state office, says where there is corruption, the citizens suffer one denial or the other.
Represented by the ICPC Commissioner, Bauchi state, Abubakar Dutsinma, he said: “As we join our African brothers to create awareness on the menace of corruption and engender collective action against it today, we need to deeply understand the direct and indirect impact of corruption on all of us, especially the helpless common man.
” With corruption, citizens suffer one denial or the other, in social service, physical infrastructure and their general well-being. When N10 million is stolen from public coffers or misappropriated from a local government, 20 boreholes meant to provide portable water to the local people are never dug; the corrupt officials and their collaborators in turn smile to the banks at the expense of the majority.
“The Commission is presently tracking the execution of constituency capital projects across the country so as to ensure that the projects are properly executed and delivered to the communities they were meant for.”
The ICPC Chairman said that tax fraud and illicit financial flows investigation is also being conducted by the Commission as well as prosecution of corruption and money laundering, among others.
He said that efforts geared towards recovery of identified stolen wealth would be transformational for the nation.
“Millions of Nigerians suffering denial of basic social services and lack of infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, water and employment will receive succour when stolen assets are recovered from looters.
“When you recover stolen wealth back to the original owner in a way that obviously makes the concealment of same difficult at all times, there is less controversy in corruption fight, future perpetrators are prevented from such evil enterprise, while the common people that were made poor by activities of thieves get to rejoice and bask in general prosperity,” he noted.
He lamented that the bulk of “an estimated $90 billion that leave Africa through illicit financial flows annually might have come from Nigeria” adding that the continent certainly receives less than that amount in development assistance from countries of Europe and America yearly.
According to him, the AU declared 11th July of every year as African Union Anti Corruption Day since 2017 to enable the 55 AU countries raise more awareness on corruption and propagate the supportive things people can do to fight it.
In his welcome address, the ICPC Commissioner, Bauchi State, Abubakar Dutsinma, said that the fight against corruption will not succeed if Nigerians do not rise and fight against the menace.
Dutsinma, whose address was read by the Deputy Head Investigation, Mohammed Haja, said: “Either as private citizens or as public officials, we do not have to accept corruption.
“We should therefore, make it a part of our civic responsibility by sending petitions to ICPC, EFCC, Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal, Public Complaints Commission, the Nigerian Police and relevant agencies where we are dissatisfied with the services we receive from government and where we know that government officials are committing fraud on our resources. “
A rally through major streets within the Bauchi metropolis was held by Secondary School Students, Corp Members and Staff of the ICPC, to commemorate the Day.