The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offices Commission (ICPC) has reiterated that the Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Initiative (CEPTI) was brought about to promote social accountability.
This was made known at a strategic roundtable discussion organized by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) recently in Abuja with stakeholders in the anti-corruption domain including CSOs, media, development partners, citizens and government agencies.
Speaking at the event during his paper presentation titled “Promoting Accountability through the Investigative Process”, Mr. Hafiz Hassan, Head Constituency Project Tracking Unit of ICPC who represented the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, explained that the CEPTI was a mechanism of social accountability initiated by the ICPC in collaboration and support of citizens, especially CSOs, to ensure accountability and transparency in the conception, execution and management of public funded projects.
He explained that the Commission had within the past two years tracked and monitored constituency projects to ensure their proper execution and value for money, and that communities where the projects were sited were encouraged to take ownership of the projects and ensure continuity and sustainability of the projects.
Furthermore, Mr. Hafiz clarified that beyond recoveries of huge sums of money and assets as well as prosecutions in appropriate cases, one of the most important impact of this initiative was that hundreds of runaway contractors were compelled to return to sites to complete hitherto abandoned projects.
These achievements were as a result of collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure accountability and transparency in the conception, execution and management of public funded projects.
Mr. Hafiz explained the concept of social accountability as an ongoing and collective effort to hold public officials to account for the provision of public goods, such as primary healthcare, education, sanitation and provision of social amenities among others.
He also noted that from the outcomes of the Commission’s tracking exercise, it was clear that social accountability improves the quality of governance, contributes to increased development, and increase in the effectiveness of service delivery and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.