The lawmaker said this at a technical session on constituency projects organized by OrderPaper Nigeria with support from USAID’s Strengthening Advocacy and Civil Engagement (SACE) programme on Wednesday in Abuja.
He however suggested that if the constituency projects are well conceived in terms of scope, cost and designed in line with the lifespan of the budget, the impact would be felt by the people.
He said: “the need for interventions in local government responsibilities shows that local government system has failed; because constituency projects can only have impacts if the communities and local government can take ownership of the projects
“Democracy must be hinged on accountability, transparency and inclusiveness. Constituency projects and the process must be continuously fine tuned; we focus most of the time on the 100billion naira Zonal Intervention Projects for lawmakers but what about the over N7trn funds under the Executives?
“Revelations during budget defense shows that civil servants are the most corrupt”.
The lawmaker although acknowledged instances of abuses by some lawmakers but regretted that the little abuses is what is getting the headlines while the successes by many others are not getting the right attention.
He however noted that the abuse within the system does not justify scrapping constituency projects, saying “constituency projects is convention, it is a global convention, unless you are not practicing democracy. Our democracy is still growing, so also our institutions.
“To reduce some of the shortcomings the House of Representatives set up a committee on constituency outreach to monitor constituency projects, from running of offices to implementation.”
He therefore called for more sensitization of the people on constituency projects, noting that because of lack of inclusiveness “health care centers built under Zonal interventions are not functional because local governments have no resources to own and take control.
“It is only through involvement of the communities and partnerships with agencies that constituency projects can be sustained, continuity is inherent in ownership.”