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CHRICED Warns Lawmakers to Stop Putting Personal Names on Constituency Projects, Says it is Corruption

CHRICED Warns Lawmakers to Stop Putting Personal Names on Constituency Projects, Says it is Corruption    

The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education  (CHRICED) has warned lawmakers in Nigeria to desist from inscribing their names on Constituency Projects that they did not personally pay for.

The centre said doing so is a form of corruption and must be stopped.

While presenting an overview of Constituency Projects in Nigeria, Zuwaira Omar Mohammed, a contact and mobilization officer at CHRICED said during the Kano Central Community Enlightenment Workshop on Promotion of Community-Driven Anti-Corruption Initiatives in Kano State on Monday that “community projects are designed and executed with the intention of positively impacting the lives of the people of a particular legislative constituency.”

She said “In the eyes of many legislators, the constituency project is different from a budget project. Legislators will always argue that beyond their law making and oversight functions, they also have to provide social direct social goods and services to their constituents. Constituency projects therefore provide legislators the opportunity to make inputs in the budget process by nominating projects, which would address the needs of constituents.”

According to her, since the money used for the projects were budgeted for, they belong to the people, not the lawmakers, and that citizens have the obligation to track how the monies are spent.

She explained further that “Between 2009 and 2019, it is projected that the sum of 1 trillion Naira went into the execution of constituency projects across the country. Public officials, including President Muhammadu Buhari have complained that despite the huge expenditures, there have been no meaningful impacts of the funds in the lives of citizens.”

She also said it is a form of corruption and abuse of constituency projects to place a lawmaker’s name on them as if they are personal donations.

She listed substandard construction projects, outright non implementation of the project, direct execution of the project by the lawmaker who nominated it, diversion of materials purchased for the empowerment of constituents, and deliberately keeping constituents in the dark about existence of Constituency Projects as other forms of corruption.

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