A Kwara-based Civil Society Organization, Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has expressed concern that most of the federal government projects facilitated for the benefit of the people in Kwara are poorly executed by contractors while most of the contracts were inflated.
ENetSuD also noted that about fifteen percent of the projects executed in 2017 worth about six hundred and ten million naira were not easy to verify as beneficiaries list were not readily available, despite the fact that federal government released funds for them.
This was disclosed at the weekend in Ilorin, when the organization presented the performance report of 2017 constituency projects facilitated by all the Nine federal lawmakers, Senators and House of Representative, that represented the people of Kwara at the National Assembly in that year.
The coordinator of ENetSuD, Dr. Abdullateef Alagbonsi while giving the presentation, said a total number of one hundred and seventy one projects were tracked in Kwara under 2017 appropriation year and spread all over the local government areas of the state except Ekiti and Isin with no single constituency projects for that year.
While highlighting some of the achievements of the organization, Alagbonsi berated many Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies for Poor performance and forgery, adding that ENetSuD had already dragged some of them to court over contract breaches. They include the Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria Film Corporation, as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
“We wrote Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that executed the 2017 Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) for detailed account of specific projects in kwara state, and copied all the legislators that facilitated those projects to keep them informed of our activities of ongoing monitoring of the projects they facilitated for the benefit of their constituents”
“Many of those MDAs responded by supplying us with details information that pertains to specific projects except few like Federal Ministry of Agriculture who failed to cooperate with us despite receipt of two (2) different FOI requests and unfortunately this particular ministry was responsible for fourty two (42) projects facilitated by Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim and Hon. Rasaq Atunwa”
He, however, confirmed that ENetSuD has dragged Ministry of Agriculture to court with litigation ongoing and planing to drag Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Film Corporation to Court as well for their uncooperative attitude over projects that fell under their territory.
Dr Alagbonsi, also alleged Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) of forgery on the list the Agency gave to ENetSuD as beneficiaries of Skill Acquisition and Enterpreneurship training worth N35 million facilitated by Hon. Amuda Kannike, and said, when they called phone numbers of the people submitted to them as beneficiaries, they all denied any participation in such training and ENetSuD has dragged SMEDAN to EFCC, ICPC and Nigeria police for proper investigation and prosecution on forgery.
In his reaction, the Managing Director, Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Dr Adeniyi Aremu, who was also one of the agency responsible for the execution of constituency projects mentioned some challenges that are always responsible for untimely completion of projects like, releasing less than fifty percent of total funds for projects by federal government and lack of cooperation from people that want to benefit from such projects in some cases, and appealed to general public to always give support to contractors when they come for project execution in their communities.
Meanwhile, the organization also challenged Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq to do thorough investigation on how the immediate administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed spent over N6.5 Billions tax payers money on water reticulation project without a single drop of water in over 90% of the locations throughout his tenure.
ENetSuD however, called on His Excellency Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state to as a matter of urgency Assent to Freedom of Information (FOI) 2019 bill passed by the immediate State House of Assembly to domesticate it as law, for the purpose of Accountability and Transparency in monitoring how public funds are being utilized.