Nigeria’s leading Civil Society organizations Accountability Lab Nigeria, BudgIT, Civic Hive, and PROMAD- are calling on citizens to actively advocate for a comprehensive needs assessment and constituents’ engagement with their elected representatives to ensure a transparent and inclusive process for selecting the 2024 constituency project. This call became necessary to foster citizen-centric governance and enhance democratic practices in Nigeria.
Over the years, the selection and implementation of constituency projects lacked a basis for needs assessment, data collection, or consultation with constituents, thereby failing to address the fundamental needs of the citizens they intended to serve.
According to Daisi Omokungbe, the Executive Director of PROMAD Foundation, the legislative arm frequently populates constituency project allocation with items like the provision or installation of solar street lights, the distribution of motorcycles, and other projects that lack proper accountability. “The N100 billion annual allocation for constituency projects can provide citizens and communities with some of their essential needs if the projects are nominated based on the needs and implemented. However, due to the lack of a citizen-centered approach in nomination and implementation procedures, these projects face diversion or abandonment,” he said.
On his part, Odeh Friday, the Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, reiterated that constituency projects represent opportunities that legislators can leverage to enhance good governance and representation to address the needs of youth, women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs); thus, an inclusive process is important.
Commenting on this, Gabriel Okeowo, Country Director of BudgIT, noted that the campaign aligns with the principles of fiscal transparency and citizen participation within the budget process and the mandate in Nigeria’s third National Action Plan (NAP III) for Open Government Partnership, which is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
In light of these, we maintained that conducting an inclusive needs assessment would result in the nomination of projects that address citizens’ collective needs and reposition their communities for economic productivity.
Therefore, we urge all Nigerians to advocate for this inclusive approach to the 2024 constituency project nomination to drive positive change, improve accountability, and contribute to Nigeria’s development.
Interested, active citizens should register here: constituency-mobilization.
The letter of demand for submission to their elected representatives is available here: promadfoundation.org.