When huge sums of money are earmarked for projects and they are not completed to the benefits of citizens, the short and long term intentions are eroded. Government of the day can change the narrative of governance if they exert and expedite effort in ensuring that uncompleted projects irrespective of who the original initiator is, are completed.
The need to make democracy work for citizens is at the moment the only solution to myriads of development problems that Nigeria faces since the return of democracy in 1999.
Democracy can work for citizens when their resources are effectively and transparently utilized to deliver the dividends of democracy. But since 1999, citizens have been lamenting over the non delivery of democracy dividends while elected representatives and appointed public officers have consistently maintained the fact that they are delivering these dividends.
At the centre of dividends of democracy is the effective and timely implementation of capital projects which help to improve the standard of living of citizens. When the completion of capital projects implementation is delayed or abandoned, then democracy dividends have either been delayed or denied. But if the qualities of projects are poor, then the citizens have been short-changed. When government spends public funds on capital projects that don’t get finished or is abandoned, then dividend of democracy is delayed or denied.
To ascertain what causes the delay of democracy dividends to citizens, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) during her USAID project with focus on abandoned projects in the state, did mapping of abandoned project in Imo State which from 2010-2014, where about 121 capital projects were mapped. Out of the 121 capital projects, 32 were completed but not qualitatively, 51 projects were ongoing/uncompleted, while 34 projects were abandoned. 4 projects were not sighted. The projects monitored are within the core projects that could enable the improvement of citizen’s health and Knowledge – Health, education and works. were not identified nor started. Most of the projects are still not completed. The rate of capital project implementation is obviously poor and slow. In some cases they are abandoned, which is the major factor responsible for delay in delivering of democracy dividends to citizens.