During the celebration of nine years of introducing abandoned projects tracking strategy in the lexicon of accountability advocacy strategies in Nigeria, the Board, Management and Staff of Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) wish to commend partner CSO organization, networks and coalition for replicating and expanding the frontiers of public accountability through Abandoned Project tracking in Southeast and entire country. Abandoned projects tracking is an idea which CCIDESOR muted in 2011 but got a major support from USIAD’s SACE (Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement) landmark project to scale it up leading to the huge achievements and the first publication of the outcome of over 300 abandoned projects monitored in Imo state in 2014/2015.
As CCIDESOR expanded the frontiers of abandoned projects monitoring and tracking, we trained additional 60 CSO representatives and partners across the entire southeast. The published outcome was titled “What delays Democracy Dividends in Nigeria”. After the completion of the abandoned projects monitoring across the entire southeastern region, CCIDESOR also published “Abandoned Projects: Factors of Delayed Development in Southeast Nigeria”. These series of publications serve as a formal documentation and tends to contribute to the emerging database of abandoned projects in Nigeria, which unsettles those (government, politicians and contractors) to want to complete them. The replication of this public accountability strategy in the five states of southeast Nigeria made Abandon Projects Tracking the major tool for public Accountability and public sector corruption reduction in line with the anti-corruption mantra of the current administration. During the same period of extension in the entire southeast, CCIDESOR trained over another ninety CSO members and partners on the act of abandoned project monitoring without getting entangled in the bad waters of politics and politicization of its outcomes.
The strategy adopted by CCIDESOR was to train residents and supervising partners who in turn confirm the status of the projects that are domiciled in their locality. With the information, CCIDESOR approaches the bodies responsible for such projects to demand explanations why the projects are abandoned. In doing this civic task, many abandoned projects got hurriedly completed while our office was burgled with vital equipment stolen and staff threatened and attacked, which could simply be described as the sacrifice for creating a better society. Since the introduction and publicity of abandoned projects tracking strategy, it is heartwarming to celebrate those CCIDESOR Partners and CSOs that have not only replicated the idea successfully (though without acknowledgment from few) but sold the strategy to their Local and International partners for further civic engagement of public officers, politicians and elected representatives. CCIDESOR’s board, management and staff are happy the abandoned project tracking idea is fast gaining more acceptability among CSO and development practitioners.
CCIDESOR has since been working to also enable other creative ideas like “Elected Representatives Performance Assessment Scorecard”, “School to skill” and “Community Social engagement strategy” to become popular and effective. CCIDESOR however called on CSOs using the same public accountability strategy to always related with each other and compare notes for more effectiveness and uniformity of purpose noting that the deeper the understanding and mastery of the strategies the cheaper and eerier to implement it becomes. CCIDESOR also used the occasion to commend USIAD, PIND and all SACE project staff for supporting the idea to gain acceptability in Nigeria. It has reduced the spat of abandoned projects drastically in Nigeria. CCIDESOR is using the same opportunity to call on other organizations to adopt the strategy as it is easy, cheap and impactful. Our target is that by collective effort abandoned projects will be history before 2023 political year.