By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has tasked lawmakers on the need to monitor constituency projects in their areas.
The anti-graft agency further urged the lawmakers to ensure even spread of constituency projects within the component sections that make up the constituency.
The ICPC tracking team on constituency projects stated this at the end of its tour of Abia North zone to verify 2018 constituency projects attracted by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa who represented the zone in the 8th Senate.
Some of the constituency projects and empowerment programmes verified include distribution of empowerment equipment, cash incentives, 17 vehicles, 15 motorcycles, 15 tricycles, 310 sewing machines, 357 generating sets, 285 grinding machines, 285 hair drying machines, 5,000 day -old chicks, 5,000 gas cylinders, as well as the partnership with SMEDAN which trained people on skill acquisition.
The team which was accompanied by Action Aid and other civil society organizations stated expressed satisfaction over the equitable spread of the projects among the five council areas in the zone.
In a statement jointly signed by Mr Steven Obi of the Owerri Zonal Office of the ICPC; Mr Ukeme Jacob of Action Aid, Abuja and the Executive Director, FENRAD, Mr Nelson Nwafor, explained that the essence of the verification was to ensure that lawmakers did not divert funds meant for constituency projects captured in the budget.
The tracking team also interacted with some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment programmes whose testimonies corroborated their findings in the field.
The statement read; “This tracking and monitoring exercise is in tandem with ICPC’s requirements, and represent our position on open governance and accountability with principles of Open Government Partnership and Participatory Governance. The team embarked on constituency projects monitoring in Abia North Senatorial zone under the Constituency Projects Tracking Phase II of the ICPC, FENRAD, and Action Aid.
“The essence of the verification is to evaluate the projects and track the impacts on the constituents in the five Local Government Areas in Abia North senatorial zone. The team observed that Senator Ohuabunwa’s constituency projects and empowerment programmes in the period under review had tremendous positive impacts on his constituents.
The tracking team commended Senator Ohuabunwa for “carrying his constituents along during his stay at the National Assembly, and for making them beneficiaries of different federal government schemes aimed at alleviating poverty.