The Edo State Commissioner for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Yusuf Olatunji, has blamed acute shortage of manpower for the below-average performance of Nigeria’s anti graft agencies.
He disclosed this on Tuesday in Benin, the State capital, at a town hall meeting put together by Social Action, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, on promoting accountable governance through tracking of constituency and public projects implementation in the State.
Olatunji who spoke on the topic: “Corruption Issues in Constituency Projects Implementation; Need for Collective Engagement,” said the fight against corruption must be seen as fight for all and not for anti-graft agencies alone.
He said: “1,000 ICPC staff among 200 million Nigerians, how do we fight corruption? EFCC, I am very sure, they do not have enough man-power too.
“This is where we all need to come together and fight the corruption,” he said.
Speaking on the recently-introduced project-tracking system by the Commission, Olatunji said it was meant to fight corruption and not to witch-hunt anybody or institution.
He noted that constituency projects have been a major channel through which public funds are being siphoned.
The Edo ICPC boss said the Commission will make public all abandoned contract projects and their handlers, upon completion of investigation, to serve as deterrent to others in the State.
“We have introduced another dimension to fight against corruption and one of them is tracking of constituency projects.
“Just last week, we discovered another which we have not made public and we are still working on it to know how true it is. I cannot tell you for now but the commission will make public all the outcome of all the constituency projects tracking.
“The idea to monitor constituency projects is not to witch hunt anybody. The idea is to examine how far they have done with our money,” he said.
The Country’s Director of MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shittima, who was represented by Hajia Amina Salihu, said the issues of corruption should not be left to the government and its officials alone.
She noted that everyone is affected by corrupt practices and so, we all must join hands to fight it.