TECHNOCRAT MEDIA, Abuja
BudgIT, a civic tech organisation working on raising the standards of transparency, citizen engagement, and accountability in Nigeria’s public finance has called for the review of implementation of zonal intervention projects (ZIPs).
This call was made on Tuesday in Abuja at the official unveiling of BudgIT Tracka’s report titled – “Creating Awareness, Tracking Public Projects, Catalysing Communities Impact in Trying Times”.
The country director, Gabriel Okeowo, said the organisation has been tracking the implementation of public projects in the last six years and enabling the rights of citizens to participate in governance from their local
He noted that Tracka’s activities has helped Nigeria to close proximity gap usually created elected officials.
In his keynote address, Dr Kole Shettima, Director of African Operations MacArthur Foundation said there’s need to continually bridge the gap between government and citizens regarding resource allocation and service delivery.
“Some people often believe that CSOs are problematic, but this is not true. CSOs in Nigeria have been very proactive and instrumental in engaging elected representatives on effective service delivery across communities.”
“People should not only look at CSOs in terms of the advocacy they do. People should also know and celebrate the fact that if CSOs are not on their toes, some of these services will not be delivered.” Mr Shettima said.
BudgIT said it tracked 1,439 zonal intervention projects popularly known as “constituency projects” and 1,826 federal consolidated projects between January 2020 and June 2021.
On zonal intervention projects, the report showed that 662 were completed, 111 were ongoing, 21 projects abandoned, 288 were yet to commence as 357 were discovered to be unspecified locations across the 360 federal constituencies and 109 senatorial districts.
On federal consolidated projects, Track said 646 were tracked completed, 316 were ongoing, 112 were abandoned at various stages, 335 were yet to commence and 417 were without specified locations across the country.
The organisation added that the design of empowerment programmes by legislators in
Oyo, Abia and Bauchi calls for deeper thought.
“During our engagement, we discovered that most of the residents were not aware of the
projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
“Secrecy in the preparation and implementation of the budget is a conspiracy to keep
citizens in the dark.”, the organized said.
BudgIT added that citizen engagements, effective budget monitoring, full project implementation, proper budgeting with relevant information, open contracting, as well as assigning of projects to capable agencies and payment government grants through bank transfers are enssential to ensuring effective public projects delivery.