Constituency Projects: Senate Proposes Bill To Strip Ministries Of Control

The Senate is planning to pass a new bill that seeks to transfer the management of constituency projects initiated by federal lawmakers.

The Bill, sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume, when passed into law would deny ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal government from having any input in awarding contracts for projects captured under the constituency fund.

The proposed law seeks the setting up of a special fund made up of 2.5 per cent of yearly budget to be dedicated to constituency projects.

The Bill further stipulated that the fund when set up would be managed by the Rural Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Currently, constituency projects of lawmakers are captured in the capital allocation of relevant MDAs.

The MDAs also award the contracts and determine the execution of the projects.

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The practice had led to outcry by lawmakers who often complain that funds for projects allocated against their names are never released or suffer poor releases which often stall the implementation of such projects.

Investigations show that the N100billion allocated for constituency projects in the 2019 budget have not been released by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a bid to forestall the repeat of the development in future, Senator Ndume, has sponsored the “Constituency Development Fund Bill, 2019”, which scaled first reading on the floor of the red chamber, on Tuesday.

The bill, according to a copy, obtained by our reporter on Friday, seeks to legalise the management and implementation of constituency development funds in the country.

Against the current practice where MDAs are fully in charge, the new legislation seeks to entrust the execution of such projects in the hands of the Rural Development Department of the proposed agency.

The decisions on the projects to be implemented, according to the bill, would remain with the various constituencies through the Constituency Development Project Advisory Committees set up for each federal constituency and senatorial district.

29th February 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph