In order for the dividends of democracy to get to the people, especially in the various communities, the Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Edo State, have educated the citizens to always monitor any constituency projects sited by Federal Government in their communities.
The duo,while giving this enlightenment in a town hall meeting tittled: ‘My Constituency , My Projects’, Benin city, said the money earmarked to execute these projects are not coming from the lawmakers but the Federal Government hence the need for people or citizens to monitor projects going in their communities.
According to the Commissioner of ICPC Edo, Delta States, Olatunji Yusuf, the Town Hall meeting was organized to teach the citizens on how to guide, protect and monitor all governments constituency projects.
Yusuf added that the Town Hall meeting will also be taken to other local government areas in the state to let the citizens know how to monitor, protect and report on all government projects in their different localities.
He stressed that ICPC is doing this in order to reduce the gravity of corruption that is going on in government and called on all stakeholders to curb the menace, adding that corruption is more endemic than corno virus disease.
“Constituency projects are health, education or infrastructural projects recommended by legislators at federal level , including Senate and House of Representatives, Or state Houses of Assembly; or projects identified by government agencies, and organized as beneficial to the people for government to carry out in their various constituencies for the benefit of the people they represent.
“It is vital that, these projects are funded by public money raised from taxes paid by citizens, and from other sources of government revenues, “ he added.
In his speech, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, said, their partnership is to change the idea so that, citizens will begin to see the constituency projects as their own and to continue to make needed efforts that help to popularise democratic model government in Nigeria.
“As the promoters of the model ,constituency projects help to give tangible meaning to their representation at the National Assembly in Abuja.”
“It also gives the representatives of the people. The required opportunity to identify infrastructure accountable their domains for quick government intervention.
“When communities take ownership of these projects, there will be genuine interest to preserve and protect them. It ensure contractors are to maximize profits to execute the projects to the highest standards needed.
“Community ownership will ensure legislators and other officials of government are alerted when there is poor execution of these contracts , and how they will be hold accountable,” he stressed.
In his remarks, Comrade Roland Osakwe, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Edo State Council, commended the initiative, but appealed to the organisers to always carry the media along to enable them achieved the reality of the event.
Comrade Osakwe lamented that, over the years, politicians have misused and misappropriated the money meant to give vital constituency projects to the people.