Nigeria’s leading civil society organizations—Accountability Lab Nigeria, BudgIT, Civic Hive, and PROMAD—have launched a campaign calling on citizens to actively advocate for a comprehensive needs assessment and constituents’ engagement with their elected representatives to ensure a transparent and inclusive process for selecting the 2024 constituency project.
The group in a statement released in Abuja on Monday, said the became necessary to foster citizen-centric governance and enhance democratic practices in Nigeria.
“Over the years, the selection and implementation of constituency projects lacked a basis for needs assessment, data collection, or consultation with constituents, thereby failing to address the fundamental needs of the citizens they intended to serve,” the statement reads.
According to Daisi Omokungbe, the Executive Director of PROMAD, the legislative arm frequently populates constituency project allocation with items like providing or installing solar street lights, distributing motorcycles, and other projects that lack proper accountability.
“The N100 billion annual allocation for constituency projects can provide citizens and communities with some essential needs if the projects are nominated and implemented based on their needs. However, due to the lack of a citizen-centred approach in nomination and implementation procedures, these projects face diversion or abandonment,” he said.
On his part, Odeh Friday, the Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, reiterated that constituency projects represent opportunities that legislators can leverage to enhance good governance and representation to address the needs of youth, women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs); thus, an inclusive process is important.
Commenting on this, Gabriel Okeowo, Country Director of BudgIT, noted that the campaign aligns with the principles of fiscal transparency and citizen participation within the budget process and the mandate in Nigeria’s third National Action Plan (NAP III) for Open Government Partnership, which is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The group maintained that conducting an inclusive needs assessment would result in the nomination of projects that address citizens’ collective needs and reposition their communities for economic productivity.
They urged Nigerians to advocate for inclusion in the nomination of 2024 constituency projects by their legislators to drive positive change and improve accountability for Nigeria’s development.
“Therefore, we urge all Nigerians to advocate for this inclusive approach to the 2024 constituency project nomination to drive positive change, improve accountability, and contribute to Nigeria’s development.”
And download the letter of demand which is available at https://promadfoundation.org/download/1261/?tmstv=1692714201 for submission to their elected representatives.