Investigation into how N61 billion allocated for 2018 constituency projects fund shows the amount was spent on fake empowerment programs, WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR) can authoritatively report.
The sum of N100 billion was allocated to constituency projects in 2018 and out of the amount, Tracka says its investigation shows N61 billion was channeled to empowerment programs that never existed.
Mr. Ilevbaoje Uadamen, Head, Tracka BudgIT Foundation, in a telephone conversation, told WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR) that they followed and investigated implementation status of some of the projects across communities in Nigeria and found that N61 billion allocated to empowerment programs were fake projects that never existed.
He added that many of the Lawmakers refused to respond to Freedom of Information request sent to them by Tracka asking them to account for how funds allocated to constituency projects they nomination were spent.
For instance, Mr. Ben Bruce, a Lawmaker from Bayelsa state refused to account for how the constituency projects he nominated was spent.
When Tracka pushed, he responded via his Twitter handle, saying he is not under any obligation to account for constituency projects funds.
Bruce is not the only offender, Mr. Dino Melaye, a Lawmaker from Kogi state did not only refused to account for his constituency projects funds, but rather blocked Tracka on a Twitter.
Mr. David Mark, Mr. Godswill Akpabio
and Mr. Ali Ndume were Lawmakers that refused to account for constituency projects funds despite FOI request from Tracka.
Constituency projects are rural intervention projects the Nigerian Federal Lawmakers work out a plan with the Ministry Department and Agencies (MDAs) to insert into the National Budget to be used for community intervention project.
However, Nigerian experience has shown Lawmakers deliberately insert the funds into the National budget with a clear intention to divert it and refuse to account for the money.
And, often community residents are not aware such monies have been given to their representatives, and that makes accountability very difficult.