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MDAs presenting new projects as ongoing ones will be punished, says Buhari

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the federal government will punish head of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) presenting new projects as ongoing ones.

This was stated on Tuesday by President Buhari during the 3rd national summit on diminishing corruption in the public sector in Abuja.

The summit tagged “Corruption and Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency.

In his opening speech, Buhari said his administration had reduced the cost of governance by completing abandoned or ongoing projects of previous administrations.

Buhari said some MDAs have devised a “fraudulent” practice of presenting new projects as ongoing ones while calling on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to take action in that regard.

‘‘We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects,” Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson quoted Buhari as saying. 

‘‘Government has, however, noted from the activities of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects.

‘‘Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard.”

At the summit, Buhari presented integrity awards to three Nigerians for integrity and exemplary conduct.

The awardees are Nelson Okoronkwo, deputy director, legal, federal ministry of information and culture, Muhammad Ahmad, assistant commander of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Ikenna Nweke, a PhD student from Imo state, studying in Japan.

Okoronkwo was recognised for his consistent acts of integrity in the different ministries where he served.

He is a committee member on fertiliser distribution that led to the recovery of billions of naira from racketeers with collaborators within the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development.

Ahmad was recognised for recovering and declaring to NDLEA the sum of $24,500 offered to him as a bribe by a drug baron to compromise an investigation of 27.950kg of cocaine, worth billions of naira.

Nweke, a Nigerian PhD student in Japan, was also recognised for returning a wallet containing a very large amount of money and other valuables to the Japanese police.

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