By Waliu Adeyeri
…for contracting projects to agencies that lack expertise and capacity
BudgIT has blasted the National Assembly (NASS) for allocating over N1.5 billion for non-traceable projects.
The projects which includes the allocation of N250 million for the supply of motorcycles, grinding machines and sewing machines to selected women and youths in the Northcentral.
These projects and over 1,112 projects were contracted to agencies that do not have the expertise and capacity to execute them.
According to a report by Tracka, an arm of BudgIT, N250 million was also allocated for the construction and installation of all-in-one solar-powered street lights in selected locations in Uvwie, Delta State Central Senatorial District.
“This project was captured under the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography Marine Research in Lagos state.”
“Tracka also found that over 1,112 projects are captured under agencies that do not have the expertise and capacity to execute them.
“For instance, N250m was allocated to construct and install all-in-one solar-powered street lights in selected locations in Uvwie, Delta State Central Senatorial District.
“This project was captured under the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography Marine Research in Lagos state. Projects like this make us raise concerns as the ministry in question does not have the competence to execute electricity projects.
Also, the team said:
“Speaking of other irregularities, we observed that projects totalling N1.5 billion were without specific locations. For example, N250 million was allocated for the supply of motorcycles, grinding machines and sewing machines to selected women and youths in the Northcentral.
“However, there was no project location, and these projects were captured under the Ministry of Water Resources, an agency that is expected to execute water-related projects in rural communities.”
REPRESENTATIVES CONTINUOUSLY NOMINATING LESS VALUABLE EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME
BudgIT has also kicked against the continuous less valuable empowerment programmes members of the National Assembly carry out.
“It is discouraging that elected representatives have consistently nominated empowerment projects that add less value and impact on citizens’ welfare thereby prioritizing political patronage over sustainable and incremental grassroot development which is the primary purpose of ZIPs,” the report reads.
Also, the team reported that the members of the National Assembly fail to carry-out a need analysis of their proposed projects before pushing it for endorsement.
“Tracka’s review of the constituency projects reveals that from 2016 till date, over 50% of projects nominated by lawmakers are mainly empowerment projects. In another instance, a whopping N63 billion and N59 billion were allocated for empowerment provisions in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Suffice it to say that these empowerment projects were nominated without a proper needs assessment by elected representatives.”
Ilevbaoje Uadamen queried that “while we advocate for genuine citizen empowerment, the current mode of selection and disbursement is, to say the least, questionable.
“How do politicians come to determine the empowerment needs of their constituents without needs assessment nor inclusion in the decision-making process, and how do they determine the beneficiaries? It is hard not to think that most of the beneficiaries are party loyalists,” he added.