BACKGROUND TO DELIBERATIONS
The Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG) with support from the MacArthur Foundation held a town hall meeting against corruption on November 27th, 2020. The theme of the town hall meeting was; HOW TO DEAL WITH THE AGE-LONG CORRUPTION AND CHALLENGES IN THE EXECUTION OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS IN NIGERIA.
Stakeholders at the meeting robustly discussed ways Nigeria can deal with the persistent corruption and challenges militating against the execution of constituency projects in Nigeria, and ways to change the ugly narrative.
Speakers at the meeting include:
Engr Solomon Bulus Maren: Representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency, Plateau State.
Jide Ojo: Development Consultant, Author and Public Affairs Analyst.
Tom Odewingie: Former Features Editor at Guardian Newspapers, Development Expert and Coordinator of Outgrow Hunger Nigeria Campaign.
Chiamaka Okafor: Assistant Programme Executive at Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Mukthar Modibbo: Community Engagement Officer at Connected Development, CODE
In the course of deliberation, participants at the town hall meeting noted the following:
—— The 35 to 40 percent profit charged on constituency projects is outrageous and promotes corruption in execution.
– Capital projects nominated by legislators don’t get completed because fund released usually are not up to 100 percent, or enough for the execution
– Monies for constituency projects are not given directly to lawmakers, but released through MDAs
– Some government agencies do not implement constituency projects even with 100% release of funds allocated.
– Lack of synergy amongst outgoing and incoming lawmakers responsible for abandoned and uncompleted constituency projects.
– Constituency projects are often duplicated
– Corruption in constituency projects cuts across every part of Nigeria.
– Needs assessment is a major challenge in constituency project execution.
– Constituents are too timid most times to ask questions or make demands on their representatives.
– Government agencies reluctant to provide details of constituency projects.
– Lack of monitoring a major problem in constituency projects.
– Monitoring and evaluation of projects in the National Budget lacking.
– Lack of synchronization between legislators, Local Government authorities and the constituents aiding poor execution, abandonment of constituency projects.
– Funding of constituency projects is a big challenge.
– No budget for maintenance of completed constituency projects.
– Government agencies over-bloating the cost of constituency projects.
– Constituency projects funding have not exceeded 50 percent release by the Federal Government from 2014 to date.
– Projects nominated under Rural Electricity project suffering. Rural Electrification Agency should be investigated for electrification problems in rural areas.
– There should be blueprints to ensure completion of constituency projects.
—- The 35 to 40 percent profit built into constituency projects should be reduced drastically.
– Legislators should monitor and follow through their nominated projects.
– Needs assessment must be made a priority before nominating constituency projects.
– Government agencies should stop inflating project cost.
– Community participation should be encouraged by making needs assessment compulsory.
– Nigeria must identify local problem and local solution
– Empowerment and security programmes should be focused on more in the communities