An investigative report on the implementation of the 2019 and 2020 constituency projects in Ondo State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has revealed how most of the projects are untraceable.
The investigation was carried out through an initiative tagged; “Follow the Projects,” a social accountability movement and advocacy established by Technocrat Media Nigeria for the tracking of projects as provided for in the budgets of the government.
According to the findings, a sum of N3.905 billion was budgeted in 2019 and 2020 for the implementation of 86 zonal intervention projects (ZIPs) also known as “constituency projects” in nine federal constituencies and three Senatorial districts in Ondo State.
However, the investigators said only 30 out of these 86 projects were found trackable, while the rest were untraceable with no locations or actual descriptions.
In the FCT, N1.245 billion was allocated for the implementation of 17 constituency projects, in two federal constituencies and the FCT Senatorial District but that only one out of the 17 projects was found to have been completed.
According to the director of the initiative, Daisi Omokungbe, the implementation of 2019 and 2020 zonal intervention projects in the FCT and Ondo State is a mix of abandoned, non-existing and untraceable projects.
He disclosed this at a press conference held in Abuja to mark the launch of the report, saying the projects were categorised into abandoned, completed, due process, ongoing, tracked, and untraceable.
He said the initiative was supported by MacArthur Foundation and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) through HEDA Resource Centre.
Mr Omokungbe said: “The report of the three months investigation was published, submitted to our partners, and handed to Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Chairman House Committee on NDDC at the House of Representatives at a meeting of a coalition of stakeholders from Ondo State in February this year.”
He also noted that the lawmaker had promised that he was going to ensure NDDC contractors come back to sites to complete their abandoned projects across the state.
Despite the money released for the 86 projects in Ondo State, only 30 were found trackable, while the rest were untraceable with no locations or actual descriptions.
The findings further revealed that six projects were abandoned, 14 were completed, four were under due process, seven are ongoing, 31 were trackable, and fifty-two were untraceable.
Similarly, in the FCT, despite the allocation of N1.245 billion for the implementation of 17 constituency projects, only one was tracked complete, while 15 projects worth N1.195 billion were untraceable as a result of lack of access to information and project data.
The untraceable projects
Mr Omokungbe said the untraceable projects raised red flags for encouraging opacity, corruption, and diversion of public funds for personal uses.
“In our moving around, tracking projects and engaging local stakeholders, they lamented the pains they go through on a daily basis which if some of the projects awarded were completed, the sufferings and pains would have reduced, and dividends of democracy would have been delivered to the people,” he said.
He added that issues of basic social amenities such as the provision of water, health centres, local roads, school buildings, and erosion control formed the major demands of communities.
He noted that in the course of the investigation, they issued over 20 Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) to federal ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), but that only a few responded to the information and data being sought.
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