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Legislators only completed 1,308 constituency projects – BudgIT



Senate probes abandoned N400b health centres

ONLY about 1308 of 3265 constituency projects commissioned by lawmakers in Nigeria between January 2020 and June 2021 have been completed.

  While 427 are ongoing, 643 have not started, but 133 have been abandoned and 774 have unspecified locations.

  An anti-graft crusade and civic responsibility organisation, BudgIT, gave the figures in its annual constituency project tracing report released in Abuja, yesterday.

  Explaining that the sleaze was uncovered through its project tracking arm, TrackaNG, the socio-economic transparency watchdog also cited issues with running projects, including the use of substandard materials, poor maintenance and others.

 “Issues with executing some of these projects, solutions include overestimated project, non-execution of projects and obscurity of budgetary provisions. Other conduits we uncovered include use of substandard materials, poor maintenance of projects and lack of an effective monitoring and evaluation body, among others.

  We also saw that in some states empowerment projects are being used as avenues for political parties to strengthen their political base from government coffers rather than improve citizens’ lives. There is also a scourge of elected officials labelling items purchased with tax-payers’ money as “Donated”, thereby creating an impression that the projects were executed with personal funds. We see this as a malicious attempt by the officials to deliberately misinform the people for selfish political interests,” BudgIT stated.

  It will be recalled that Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) last year announced commencement of special tracking for constituency and executive projects as part of its efforts to improve accountability of political office holders.

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In another development, Senate has ordered an investigation into primary health centre projects abandoned across the country estimated at N400 billion by then Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration in 2006.

  The Upper Chamber ordered the probe in a resolution on a motion by Senators Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central) and Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North) during it plenary, yesterday.

Senate Committees on Health, Primary Health Care and Communicable Disease, Works and Housing were also mandated to determine status of the funds lodged with then Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) and level of the projects in each of the 774 local government areas.

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