14 November 2018

Nigeria: Constituency Projects Over Bloated, Poorly Executed - Report

The 2017 Federal Constituency Projects report by BudgIT/Tracka has revealed that most of the projects were over bloated and poorly executed despite oversights and other monitoring efforts.

The 177-page report in 20 states released in Abuja on Wednesday stated that citizens were not carried along in the conception and execution of the projects, thus making the projects to be less valuable to their needs.

The Principal Lead, Budgit Nigeria, Mr. Gabriel Okeowo, during the launch of the report said other findings revealed that significant amount of the constituency project went into empowerment projects which is difficult to track and their impact cumbersome to measure.

It alleged that some lawmakers connived with contractors to inflate the price of projects they nominated last year.

According to the report which focused on constituency projects in the 2017 budgetary allocations from May 2017 to June 2018, of the 1,228 projects tracked in 374 council areas, 478 have been completed, 200 are ongoing, 364 not started while 13 projects are abandoned.

He lamented that while the National Assembly members are expected to be the representative of the masses at the federal level and for their nominated projects to foster development of the constituents and constituency they represent, the reverse is the case.

"As we may establish that funds for constituency projects are not domicile with the elected officials, however the core responsibilities of the elected officials is to speak for their people where they cannot speak for themselves and ensure that their people enjoy the dividends of democracy," Okeowo said.

The report titled: "Lessons and Findings from the focus states", accused lawmakers of shrouding some of their projects in secrecy, even when some of the projects nominated by the lawmakers had little or no impact on the lives of their constituents in 2017.

Delivering the keynote, the founding Executive Director of the Centre LSD, Dr. Otive Igbuzor stressed the importance of tracking of government budget and expenditure as holding government to account is a key for the development of the country.

Also, Program Manager for Tracka, Uadamen Ilevbaoje, said lawmakers completed 478 projects in one year.

Mr. Ilevbaoje, who presented the report, said that as the 2019 elections beckon, it is hope that the report can be a tool to assess performance, question political office aspirants on projects and determine how citizens will engage politicians during the campaigns and at the polls.


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