The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that both the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice had the sum of N5.6 billion inserted in the 2019 budget for the execution of zonal intervention projects.
ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, at a media roundtable in Abuja, to promote the ‘My Constituency, My Project’ initiative of the Commission revealed that a breakdown of the 2019 allocation for zonal interventional projects shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) would spend N2.9 billion on constituency projects.
Owasanoye added that the allocation of N2.7 billion to the Ministry of Justice in the same budget brings to the fore, some of the anomalies surrounding the implementation of constituency projects across the country.
He was concerned that constituency projects, which principally were projects and empowerment programmes designed to bring development to rural communities within the country had been included the budgets of MFA and other non-relevant ministries and agencies.
According to him, “What is constituency project doing in Foreign Affairs? We will ask questions with this kind of allocation.”
The ICPC boss further revealed that only about 60 percent of constituency projects have been completed with a lot of them executed in shoddy ways due to poor technical designs, impositions and other sundry irregularities.
He stressed that the Commission would not give up on tracking of constituency projects as long as the government kept funding them and therefore called on local communities to own the projects for themselves.
Professor Owasanoye also called for the handover of zonal intervention projects to local government authorities upon completion for effective maintenance and sustainability of the projects.
He said, “If somebody had nominated a project and succeeded in getting the project to the community, it is not the duty of the person to maintain it. Communities need to understand that it was public funds that was used. They need to take ownership. We recommend that the project needs to be handed over to the local government for the community to take over.”
The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, who was also at the round table called for citizens’ participation in constituency projects.
Abari noted that the active involvement of the communities in the planning and execution of constituency projects would remove the issues of corruption and abuse.
He stressed that such ownership would ensure that contractors do not use substandard materials for the projects as well as ensure that completed projects were not vandalized when handed over.
COVID-19: Ebonyi Indigenes in Diaspora Pray for Gov. Umahi’s Speedy Recovery
The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) world-wide has extended its heartfelt sympathy to the governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, who recently announced that he has been tested positive to the Coronavirus disease on the wee hours of Saturday, July 4th, 2020.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, signed by the President, World-wide of AESID, Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, expressed shock and prayed that pandemic be successfully managed and further spread curbed in Ebonyi state, Nigeria and in the world generally.
While wishing governor Umahi a speedy recovery, Amb. Oluchukwu, commended the governor for handing over the affairs of governance of Ebonyi state to his deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, to lead the frontline coordination of the battle to contain and manage further spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus in the state.
The statement said: “Even as we were astonished when he(Governor Umahi) personally broke the news on the social media that the results from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated that he and some of his close aides also tested positive to COVI-19, we are gladdened by the disposition of his faith that all affected persons will soon test negative to the virus. Like the world already is aware; testing positive to the deadly pandemic is actually not a death sentence.
“While assuring that we have His Excellency, the Governor and all the affected aides in our esteemed prayers and wishing him and others a very speedy recovery to enable him continue to pilot the affairs of governance of our dear state, we also commend him for handing over the affairs of governance of the State to his Deputy, Barr. Eric Kelechi Igwe to lead the frontline coordination of the battle to contain and manage further spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus which is already at community transmission level in our dear state.”
The association urged every Ebonyian to take the NCDC warnings and protocols very seriously, abide strictly by them and support all efforts by government at all levels in Nigeria in the sustained fight against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
“It is our earnest desire therefore that the pandemic be successfully managed and further spread curbed in our dear state by all concerned just as we urge every Ebonyian to take the NCDC warnings and protocols very seriously, abide strictly by them and support all efforts by government at all levels in Nigeria in the sustained fight against the dreaded COVID-19 virus. It is real and it has come to stay!
“May God Almighty continue to uplift our dear state as the salt of the Nation.”
Court Transfers Evans’ Trial To Office Of Public Defender
There’s a new twist to the ongoing trial of kidnap Kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans as an Ikeja High Court in Lagos has asked the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to take over the defence for his alleged inability to afford legal fees.
The Lagos State Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) told the court on Friday that his team placed a phone call to Evans’ legal team on the last court date to enquire about the whereabouts of Evans’ counsel.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi, thereafter, noted that Evans had developed a habit of engaging the services of lawyers who according to the judge, “disappeared halfway through trial” and this has caused delays in the case.
He is standing trial alongside four others over the alleged kidnap of Mr Donatius Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical ltd.
Wife Of Benue State Governor Tests Positive For Coronavirus
The wife of Benue State Governor, Eunice Ortom has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement she personally signed on Friday night, the First Lady said tests conducted on her came out positive.
The First Lady also noted that her son and some staff too were infected by the virus, adding that she has gone into total isolation and has commenced treatment.
“A few moments ago this evening, I received my result from the tests earlier carried out on me by NCDC personnel on routine screening at Government House, Makurdi which returned that I, my son, and some staff are COVID-19 positive.
“We have from this moment, gone into total isolation as required by the protocol and would immediately begin the management treatment as advised by medical experts,” she said.
Ortom, however, advised everyone who has had contact with her in the past two weeks to undergo screening and get tested.
The governor’s wife is optimistic of recovering from the virus, stressing that being CIVID-19 positive is not a death sentence.
Although she admitted that the virus is real, she asked residents of the state not to panic but should be responsible for their actions.
In doing this, Ortom wants the people “to take preventive measures to be protected and be safe by observing the primary protocols.”
One of such include wearing of face masks, constant washing of hands, maintaining Social Distance and staying indoors.
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