Reps to review constituency development fund bill

Beloved JohnJanuary 4, 20244 min

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, intends to review the Constituency Development Fund Bill to improve transparency and accountability in the utilization of funds designated for constituency projects.

constituency development

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas (APC, Kaduna), has disclosed that he plans to re-introduce a revised version of the Constituency Development Fund Bill to the floor of parliament.

The bill provides a legal framework for the management, disbursement, utilization, and accountability of funds designated for constituency projects.

According to Rep. Abbas, a review of the bill is required to ensure greater transparency and accountability in constituency projects.  

He said this while speaking at the commissioning of some constituency projects facilitated by Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila in Lagos on Wednesday, December 3, 2024, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Musa Abdullahi Krishi. 

The speaker faulted the criticisms against the Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) popularly called constituency projects saying that they successfully address the needs of Nigerians, especially at the grassroots.

He also pointed out that, for many Nigerians, especially at the grassroots, it is through constituency projects that they see the most direct and tangible manifestation of the government and democracy.

“These specific initiatives are funded through the government budget and are intended to address the needs and improve the conditions of constituents.

“However, there has been a widespread and endemic misunderstanding of the purpose and essence of these legislative interventions. Constituency projects are not mere items in a budget; they are the lifelines that connect the heart of our government to the heartbeat of communities,” he stated.

“Furthermore, constituency projects best reflect participatory governance, given that local communities are involved in the decision-making process. This approach does not just build infrastructure; it builds trust, confidence, and a sense of ownership among the people.”

Rep. Abbas also applauded Gbajabiamila’s efforts in securing funding and support for several projects, including schools, hospitals, and countless infrastructure developments in his Surulere 1 Federal Constituency and beyond when he served as a member of the House.

On his part, the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila stressed the need for a joint effort towards ensuring a conducive environment for learning and collaboration.

“This is where students are safe to be themselves, are comfortable to think about big ideas, and find solutions to the many complex challenges of our modern age.”

The ex-speaker added: “I hope that years from now, some young students here will recount how they solved one global challenge or the other or recall the moment they came upon the big idea that inspired their success in business or academia, in science, politics or industry. And in their recounting, they will say it all began here in these halls. I look forward to that day indeed.”

Recall that controversy has continued to attend the constituency projects scheme of the National Assembly, with many citizens and stakeholders, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), tagging it as conduit pipe for possible corruption by legislators.

However, at a dialogue organised by OrderPaper in collaboration with BudgIT last December, the Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Barau Jibrin, pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to work with civil society organisations, in improving the scheme.

OrderPaper is implementing a citizen-driven tracking of constituency projects that seeks to promote transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the design and implementation of the projects to ensure improved service delivery and value-for-money.

Beloved John

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