To nip the spate of abandoned projects in the country, especially the Southeast nigeria in the bud, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have urged the National Assembly and State Houses of Assemblies to come up with working bills seeking legislation against project abandonment in the country.
It would be recalled that Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) since 2014 during the Strengthening Advocacy for Civic Engagement, SACE project which is funded by USAID has continued to advocate for completion of projects in the country, especially in Imo State, where CCIDESOR worked. The survey gathered that across Nigeria, over 12,000 abandoned projects, capable of providing jobs for teeming youths were scattered uncompleted.
As at 2014 about 121 capital projects mapped by 129 partners across six local governments of Obowo, Ahiazu Mbaise, Isiala Mbano, Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Ngor Okpala spanning through the three senatorial zones of Imo State around Health and Education, out of the 121 capital projects, 32 were completed without quality, 51 projects were ongoing/uncompleted, while 34 projects were abandoned. He hinted that about 4 projects were not identified nor started as at 2014.
Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has been sustaining the advocacy and engagements to Imo State House of Assembly, Government House and relevant stakeholders towards ensuring that workable laws against the abandonment of projects are put in place. The call by EFCC has again added voice to the advocacy of CCIDESOR on spate of abandonment of projects by successive governments.
According to https://leadership.ng, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, noted that once there is a law, it will serve as a deterrent to successive governments which abandon projects into which state funds have been invested. Magu expressed regret that Nigeria is littered with abandoned projects. The EFCC Boss noted that the commission was ready to wrestle the challenges of poorly conceived and politically motivated projects, lack of continuity in the execution of projects by successive governments and non-adherence to procurement and contractual agreements by parties.
It is unfortunate that many projects into which huge sums of the country’s scare resources had been invested are abandoned in various stages of execution with most of them rotting away and over grown with weeds. Some of the root causes of project abandonment in Nigeria are lack of well articulated visions and objectives, lack of adequate planning for the project at inception, inadequate budgetary allocation before projects are embarked upon, ineffective legal system poor, contract documentation, corruption and collusion
Indeed, if the National Assembly acts precipitously on the bill, it may come up with an additional legislation to provide for fines and sanctions against contractors and ensure that issues of contract abandonment become history in Nigeria. The amendment to the Public Procurement Act by the National Assembly will also help to a great extent in addressing issues of abandoned projects. An effective procurement process is very important because the procedure for awarding contracts hinge on the basic principles of procurement as well as tendering and selection of capable hands to execute the projects.
In line with ensuring good governance, accountability and deepening democracy in the Southeast Nigeria, CCIDESOR under National Endowment For Democracy (NED) has through its Democracy Clinic urged elected representatives to be accountability to the citizens who elected them, especially that documentation of campaign promises as the elections draws near will help in holding the leaders accountable.