Tracka, a project monitoring platform by BudgIT, meant to enhance the implementation of capital projects confirmed that only 475 zonal intervention projects (popularly called constituency project) were completed out of 1,497 projects, tracked across 26 states between June 2018 and November 2019. This was disclosed at the launch of the 2018 Tracka Federal Constituency Projects Tracking Report held at Yaba, Lagos.
From the 2018 Zonal Intervention Projects, a total number of 1,497 projects were tracked while 475 projects were completed; 144 are currently ongoing; 536 were yet to start; 42 were considered abandoned, and whooping 224 projects had unspecified locations.
Recall that Zonal Intervention Projects (popularly known as Constituency Projects) are public projects nominated by federal lawmakers to extend the dividends of democratic government to their various constituencies in the quest to unleash development at the grassroots level of the country.
This report enunciates the most critical challenges of Constituency Projects in 2018 and highlighted some viable solutions to those challenges. Tracka’s ultimate goal is to open up public finances to the wider Nigerian populace, making them vanguards for service delivery and transparency. Tracka expands citizens’ understanding of the budget, in particular on the contextual issues affecting them, empowering them to demand accountability and budget implementation.
Some challenges we observed during the project tracking were the proliferation of empowerment items, alleged contract inflation, unspecified project locations, inadequate supply of equipment and materials to uncompleted structures, use of substandard products and poor civic unawareness of budgetary provisions. We have consequently recommended in the report that strategic allocation of funds is crucial and the design of empowerment projects calls for deeper thought.
We also note that only 30% of funds have been released for 2019 constituency projects (at the time of preparing this report). We make bold to declare that poor release of funds for these projects will continue to affect implementation across the country.
Tracka’s influence is spreading through our focus communities. We have a presence in 586 local government areas across 26 states in Nigeria. We have tracked over 15,859 projects in 7,589 towns and organised over 7,612 town hall meetings across the country. With increasing appeal for this project, we plan to scale to all the 36 states of the federation
We are also glad to have fruitful collaboration with agencies of government like the ICPC to give credence and effectiveness to our project tracking initiative. We call on government across all tiers to make concerted efforts to ensure citizens benefit from dividends of democracy. BudgIT plans to reach out to the leadership of the National Assembly on improving the nomination process of constituency projects.
BudgIT is a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in the field of social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising the standard of transparency and accountability in government.