By Isa Isawade
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has lent its voice to call for the control of constituency projects’ funds by members of the National Assembly.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Adegboyega Otunuga, the anti-corruption organization’s Coordinator, Media and Publications, on Wednesday, the organisation’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said his group supported calls by key figures for involvement of traditional rulers and other stakeholders in monitoring such projects in their areas to reduce corruption inherent in the present arrangement of awarding and executing the projects.
According to Adeniran, the position was echoed by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2019 when he revealed that over N1tn (One Trillion Naira) had been expended on constituency projects with very little on ground to show for it.
“We (CACOL) as an Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership organization, have always insisted that constituency projects is simply another mode of siphoning and openly looting the scarce resources of the Nigerian nation. Since the advent of this democratic experiment in 1999, the National Assembly has never discharged itself in a meritorious and incorruptible manner to be so trusted as to avail itself of its unconstitutional role of giving contracts out to contractors and supervising their executions under a bogus tag of ‘Constituency Projects’.
“Throughout our research and examination of these constituency projects, we discovered that over 75 percent of constituency projects were either not executed at all or shoddily done or abandoned even where billions of taxpayers’ money had been disbursed.” Adeniran said.
He, therefore, opined that all stakeholders “should not just be involved in the award and execution of such projects in their various constituencies, but that defaulters in the execution of such projects should be made to cough out looted aspects of it and made to face the full wrath of the law, to serve as a deterrent to others.”