Constituency projects not personal, don tell legislators

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A professor of Political Science and former Secretary-General of the African Association of Political Science, Professor Adele Jinadu, has said that constituency projects embarked upon by federal lawmakers should not be perceived as their initiatives.

A recent report by Sunday According revealed that no fewer than 50 contractors, consultants, and staff members of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the government were investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission under phase five of its ongoing tracking of constituency projects embarked upon by federal lawmakers.

In an interview with Saturday According, the professor emphasised that constituency projects should serve as channels for community development, rather than avenues for personal gain.

Jinadu said, “Constituency projects are not personal projects of legislators. There is also something wrong where presiding officers of legislatures disburse allowances as if they were part of their patronage arsenal to reward their clients and supporters.

“There is so much opacity over the salary and allowances of our legislators at state and federal levels that one is unable to make informed comments about them. This is unfortunate because it should not be difficult to get information about them, at least for the National Assembly under the Freedom of Information Act.

“There is something wrong, moreover, in ‘allocating’ funds to legislators to be directly disbursed by them. This opens the room for abuse and lack of transparency and accountability.”

Similarly, the Executive Director of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, lamented the perpetuation of impunity and the exploitation of public resources, emphasising the plight of whistleblowers who risk their well-being to expose corruption.

Adeniran stated, “The anti-graft agencies must thoroughly investigate the allegations to prosecute anyone found culpable. The result is the continuous reign of impunity and pillaging of our national wealth.

“While the whistle-blowers, who have fulfilled constitutional and societal expectations as well as the nation, continue to bleed daily, a wrong and dangerous lesson is being entrenched that it pays to do evil.”

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