Owerri – The Women Aid Collective (WACOL), a non-governmental organisation, has called on representatives of South-east at federal level to engage in projects that will impact positively on their constituencies.
WACOL made the call at a one-day forum of civil society organisations and the media with the theme “Strategy Meeting with CBM/CSOs and Media on Project Implementation” in Owerri.
It said that there was the need for representatives of the South-east to involve their communities in project planning and execution and to embark on projects that would impact meaningfully on the masses.
Dr Uzochukwu Amakom, the facilitator of the programme and a Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, said the programme was in partnership with Christain Aid (Voice to the People), a faith-based non-governmental organisation.
He alleged that some members of the House of Representatives were not initiating projects in their various constituinces and when they did, the projects were not having meaningful impact on the communities.
“Most members of the House of Representatives do not have functional state constitutiences. Some also do not engage in projects with the interest of the people at heart.
“When they do engage in projects, the projects are either abandoned, uncompleted and those completed are not put into use because the people do not want them.
“In most cases, the people in the communities, most often than not, are not consulted in project planning processes and implementation,” he said.
Amakom said that Voice to the People was making efforts to see how citizens could have a voice and right to projects initiated and implemented by government.
He said the organisation was also involved in empowering citizens to make their representatives accountable and to engage in projects that would impact positively on the communities.
“Members of communities should be alive and alert to the activities of their representatives.
“They should engage the constituiency offices of the federal representatives and be part of project implementation.
“They should read budget as released by government, thorughly scrutunise it and and make meaningful contributions regarding its implementation as it affects their communities,” he said.
Mrs Egodi Igwe, the Project Officer of Women Aid Collective, said the forum was aimed at presenting findings on the 2017 National Budget, scrutunise and validate its implementation as it related to Imo State.
She said the programme was started with the training of field officers and sending them to various communities to monitor and ascertain projects initiated and implemented by the government and their level of completion.
She said the aim was for citizens to show concern and interest in government’s projects and make demands for projects that would actually affect them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some projects monitored in the 27 local government areas of the state included renovation of Umuezeala Primary Health Centre in Ehime Mbano, a N40 million project.
Also monitored was the construction of Primary Health Care Type in Obowo and renovation of Umunahihe Health Centre, Ihitte Uboma, a N30 million project.
They included the rehabilitation of water schemes in Ohaji/Egbema as well as dredging and resetting of Ohamiri Oguta (lake) to Ndoni River.
The renovation of a solar Powered borehole at Girls Secondary School, Oguta, rehabilitation and special reconstruction/ completion of Ihiala- Orlu-Umudara Road were also monitored.
Amakom said that while some projects were abandoned and uncompleted, others were completed, but not equipped and were, therefore, not beneficial to members of the communities.