A Non-Governmental Organization, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), has urged Journalists and civil society organisations in Kano State to track constituency projects for transparency and accountability.
CHRICED said the call was imperative to strategically and consistently beam the searchlight on constituency projects to ensure they are determined by participatory planning, timely delivery, and value for money.
The Executive Director of CHRICED, Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi appealed on Monday, at One Day training on Fostering Transparency and Accountability in Constituency Project Service Delivery, held in Kano.
Dr. Zikirullahi said journalists and civil society organizations equally have a big role in ensuring the benefits of constituency projects are not lost to corruption.
“We are equally convinced that it should be the interest of duty bearers in government, communities, the media, and CSOs to ensure public resources are used for the collective good of everyone in the society”.
He described constituency projects as one of the key government programs that could spread development while providing citizens an avenue to benefit from public resources at the federal and state levels.
“If the intended service delivery envisage through the constituency project is as effective as the intentions should be, such basic things as rural roads, cottage industries, health facilities, recreational spaces and so many more would have been built in communities across the country.
Unfortunately, what we have seen since Nigeria’s return to civil rule is a constituency project system that has been severely damaged by corruption, inefficiency, and lack of accountability”.
The Executive Director appealed to stakeholders to take advantage of anti-corruption tools available in law and international commitments such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, and the Fiscal Responsibility Act, in ensuring proper utilization of public funds.
The session was facilitated by Dr. Hadiza J. Ibrahim of the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano where she presented the paper on Fact – Checking in an age of Fake News, misinformation, and disinformation. And Dr. Nuhu Musa of the faculty of Law presented a paper titled; Leveraging Convergence in media ecosystem for constituency project Reporting, Mr. Omoniyi Adewoye, a senior program officer of CHRICED, discussed the Best practices in amplifying community voices in constituency projects delivery.
The concept of constituency projects was introduced during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It aimed to ensure equity in the allocation of projects sited in the constituencies of state and federal lawmakers by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government in the budgets of the federation or state.