The Nigerian National Assembly in response to the yearnings of their constituents for development/ federal presence demanded and got “Constituency Project” fund. Since the inception of constituency project in Nigeria there have been misconceptions and misinterpretations of the constituency project implementation. This and some other factors have painted the hallowed chambers of National Assembly in bad light.
A major concern is the issue of who actually implements constituency projects. Is it the legislature or the executive? A critical check on the process involved found out that members of the National Assembly merely identify the needs of the constituents and recommend same to the executive during budgeting. Ultimately, they have no direct control over their implementation aside from oversight; hence the award. Financing and supervision of constituency projects are the preserves of appropriate agencies other than the National Assembly.
Perhaps this explains why there is more interest in what is called the constituency project. This should not be so as every project in the budget is located in Nigeria and every part of Nigeria belongs to a constituency. This implies that every project is a constituency project. Whether or not a project is nominated by a legislator, once it is in the budget, the legislator in whose constituency it is located ought to show the same patriotic interest in such project.
Legislators are better positioned to perform oversight function on the execution of projects. If they get too involved in the execution, they can easily be compromised and become incapable of calling government officials to order. This is the reason active citizens are encouraged to active their office of the citizen as the employer of all elected public officials in the land.
Every citizen in Nigeria has an office in the government. Active Citizens have a right to call for the books and demand that things are done rightly. If we could all stand up for our right the power brokers will soon find out that it is no longer business as usual when adjudicating over constituency projects funds and its implementations.
With the recent release of the breakdown of 2017 Constituency projects allocation across the 360 federal constituencies and 109 Senatorial districts, rather than venting, active citizens should now collaborate, track and give feedback via: www.tracka.ng on public projects in their community.
Active citizens in Nigeria should engage their respective reps! Call them to effectively execute these constituency projects. You can identify your elected representative by texting SYE & your Polling Unit number (top right of your voters card) to 20050. Example SYE 24/10/07/03.
Engage your reps as an active citizens; Call, SMS, Email by finding their contact details via: www.shineyoureye.org and see other actions you can take as an active citizen via: www.opennass.ng.
Ask questions anywhere & everywhere as an active citizen!!!