Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has lampooned the National Assembly over its proposal that 20% of the 2017 Budget be dedicated to constituency projects. “they are not just greedy, they are insensitive to the parlous state of the country. If that proposal should come to fruition, we should then expect not just the aggravation of corruption; we should expect its conflagration.” He averred
The anti-corruption Crusader was reacting to the news that the Senate has made the demand that 20% of the 2017 budget should be allocated for constituency projects. He said “it’s like adding salt to injury! What did they do with the 2016 budget? That is the first question to ask. And for crying out loud, 20% represents a whooping sum of 1.4Trn of the projected budget of N7.2tn for 2017.”
 “How could we afford to prioritize constituency projects which in most cases are just conduit pipes for corruption over more important issues including how to immediately get our country out of this gnashing economic recession? He queried
“Our position had always been that there is no need for legislators to be taking funds for constituency projects because the whole idea and practice is susceptible to sharp practices.  Some legislators go to the extent of contracting these projects to themselves directly or indirectly, that is if the projects get implemented at all.”
“Our position is that, the practice should be stopped, what is more logical is that the legislators should engage in NEEDS Assessment in their respective constituencies which will help in identifying and separating the real and felt-needs of their constituents. It is the outcome of these assessment that will inform government’s prioritization in its response to people’s needs.”
Continuing, Adeniran said “It is the outcome of these assessments that the legislature would pass to the Executive with a demand for the real needs of each constituent to be captured in the national budget. The legislature will also get a chance to cross-check whether the demands of their constituent were captured in the budget or not, when the Executive brings the Appropriation bill back to the NASS, and there would be opportunity to amend the bill.”
“Fortunately, it is the legislature that oversights all government projects and can always check the Executive at that level. We therefore emphatically condemn the proposal as we are convinced it would only aggravate and conflagrate corruption. Constituency projects only put the principle of ‘separation of powers in jeopardy, the oversight powers of the legislature is adequate enough, the whole practice should be abandoned! He concluded
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
December 10, 2016
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