PTOs demand locations of N1.3 billion unspecified projects in FG’s budget, others
A group under the aegis of Project Tracking Officers (PTOs) has revealed that the location of no fewer than 72 projects in budgetary line items amounting to N1.3 billion were not specified.
Head of PTOs, Uadamen Ilevbaoji, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a presentation at a stakeholders’ meeting on the 2017 Federal Government budget organised by Cleen Foundation.
Ilevbaoji stated that failure to provide the locations was antithetical to democracy and would deprive communities, civil society organisations (CSOs) and auditing bodies of vital information.
It would also deprive them of opportunity to monitor and ensure proper implementation of government obligations to the people.
He stressed the need for projects locations to be spelt out for easy access by citizens and organisations, adding that unspecified locations and other details meant that certain projects were prone to misappropriation of funds and corruption.
He added that there was the need for representatives to routinely engage their constituents in the budget-making process to ensure that their needs were captured on time in federal and states’ annual fiscal plans.
“The fundamental purpose of the constituency projects is to ensure rural communities feel Federal Government’s impact, therefore their priorities should be reflected in the budget,” he stated.
Ilevbaoji also disclosed that the body observed that citizens in rural areas have no idea of constituency projects to be sited in their domains, much less how they were funded.
He added that realities in the field indicated that inflated costs and pricing of government projects was one of the leading causes of corruption in the country.
Speaking, Executive Director, Cleen Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, noted that the foundation favours avoiding excessive, wasteful and corrupt budgetary spending, adding that management of the procurement process requires transparency and accountability.
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