By Philip Yatai
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Connected Development (CODE), said on Thursday that it had tracked 23 constituency projects worth N1.2 billion in Kaduna State from January to date.
The Chief Executive Officer, CODE, Mr Hamzat Lawal, disclosed this in Kaduna, at a review meeting of its project tagged; “Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC).”
Lawal explained that the 23 projects were located across 18 communities in seven Local Government Areas in the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
He said that the project tracking, supported by MacArthur Foundation, was a three-year project designed to ensure effective citizens participation in the implementation of constituency projects in communities.
He said that CODE, through its Follow the Money movement, has provided young people a platform to engage the delivery of government projects in communities.
According to him, young people are using the money movement to change the narrative.
He added that young people are not the problem, but rather, the solution to societal problems.
“These young people are implementing the solutions that affect grassroots people at the bottom of the pyramid and empowering community members to ask critical questions around constituency and other government projects,” he said.
He said that efforts were ongoing to engage the National Assembly to adopt CODE’s constituency project tracking tool based on the success stories recorded in tracking the delivery of constituency projects in Kaduna state.
Earlier, DeSPAAC Project Manager, Mr Kinsley Agu, said that N1.2 billion projects were tracked out of the N6.3 billion worth of constituency projects penciled to be tracked between 2021 and 2023 by CODE.
Agu explained that out of the N6.3 billion, N3.5 billion was budgeted for constituency projects in 2020 and N2.85 billion was earmarked for 2021.
He said that of the N1.2 billion projects tracked in the first year of the project, 50 per cent were completed, 22 per cent ongoing, and 28 per cent either abandoned or have not commenced.
He explained that the projects were tracked using Community Monitoring Teams, made up of community members who were empowered to track the delivery of constituency projects in their communities.
“There is also a collaboration with investigative journalists and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission under its constituency tracking initiative.
“Other approaches include gender, equality, and social inclusion mainstreaming and leveraging on previous experience in tracking the delivery of Universal Basic Education projects in the state,” he said.
He said that the DeSPAAC project had led to a significant improvement in citizens’ involvement in the delivery of constituency and other government projects in the state. (NAN)