● New Legislation Will Ensure Even Development of Federal Constituencies, Speaker says.
After years of dilly-dally, the National Assembly has begun moves to legitimise constituency projects with a bill in the works in the House of Representatives for that purpose.
The 2017 Appropriation Bill that has been awaiting presidential assent for weeks has a N100 billion estimate to empower the government site projects of choice for lawmakers in their constituencies.
Such projects are used as campaigning chips by federal lawmakers during elections.
Suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) is believed to have run into troubled waters because he allegedly sabotaged the release of funds for the project last year. He was alleged to have made denigrating remarks of legislators over this.
“That is why and when they began moves to nail his political coffin,” a knowledgeable source once said.
A statement from the House of Representatives disclosed that the lawmakers there are set to establish a legal framework for the execution of Zonal/Constituency intervention projects.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara made the disclosure at the public hearing on the Bill for An Act to Establish the Constituencies Development Fund, which took place at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Speaking on the modalities of the proposed fund, Dogara said that the Bill seeks to streamline the management and implementation of constituencies development fund in the whole federation.
The decisions on the projects to be implemented will, however, remain with the various constituencies through the Constituency Development Project Advisory Committees which will be set up for each Federal Constituency and Senatorial district.
“One of the objectives of this Bill is to put in place a mechanism that will enhance the participation of citizens in the judicious utilization of funds that would bring about socio-economic development with accountability in our various constituencies”, the Speaker said.
The Bill when passed into law, according to the Speaker, will address concerns over Constituency/ Zonal intervention Projects which is supposed to be a vehicle for rural and urban development.
Speaking on likely benefits, he said that the bill will also encourage grassroots participation in governance, thereby “creating a legal framework for the administration, management, monitoring and evaluation of funds in the constituencies.”