From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The Taraba State Government has faulted the poor implementation of constituency projects in the state and the alleged personalization of some by federal lawmakers for political purposes.

Mr Solomon Elisha, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, who made the allegation while briefing journalists on Monday, noted that some of the projects awarded are not even attended to at all.

He said reports available to his Ministry on the federal government interventions in the state since 2020, indicate that some executing agencies (MDAs) used in implementing the National Budget in Taraba State as its customary for zonal intervention projects (ZIP) and consolidated capital projects from the economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) under Preesident Muhammadu Buhari’s administration have so far been observed with dismay.

Taraba govt faults poor and non execution of constituency projects in state

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According to him, “it was observed that some executing agencies have been used over the years for the execution and implementation of federal government constituency projects in Taraba State for certain senatorial districts and federal constituencies, notwithstanding their previous budget performance as it was poorly executed, unspecified, abandoned or even non-existent.

“The purpose of freedom of information act 2011 of the 1999 constitution as amended was to empower citizens to take ownership of government projects in their constituency, engage their elected representatives and demand accountability and transparency so that public funds will work for the public good.

“In the 2020 federal government budget, a budget line item with the title ‘Radio Station for the University, Taraba South Senatorial District, Taraba State’ with the unique excel code (2020ZIPO257) was captured under the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal University of Wukari as the executing agency for the of sum N40,000,000 with an unspecified status is yet to be seen completed.

“Since the 2020 federal government constituency projects budget performance was pegged at about 98% in terms of disbursement to MDA, it has also been observed that certain zonal intervention projects and consolidated capital projects are seen by many Tarabans as individual projects rather than federal government constituency projects that they truly are.

“The conceptualisation of government project interventions as individual efforts becomes worrisome because the players are our supposed representatives who have cornered our sovereign wealth to become theirs. The big question agitating our minds is that the little space given them at the constituency level has been mortgaged. How can we now or in the future aggregate our collective mandate for such representatives to lead us or provide leadership at the state level?

“Other worrisome issues include votes of some federal agencies which were claimed to be implemented in the state. These project titles have no colouration at all with the agencies. Though, beneficial to the state as claimed but are monumental frauds,” he said.

He sighted projects across the three senatorial zones in the state worth over nine hundred million naira that the implementation is enmeshed in some sort of fraud or other shoddy circumstances.

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Source: news