The Federal House of Representatives have begun a probe into the spate of abandonment and non-execution of constituency projects awarded by the Federal Government under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) programme
The house has also invited the Minister of Finance, Dr Olusegun Aganga, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair, to appear before it and brief the lawmakers on the state of the projects across the country to furtherongoing investigation.
In the motion sponsored by Hon.Leo Ogor (PDP Delta) and eighteen other lawmakers, the House noted that constituency projects were essentially projects included in the national budget to be executed in all Federal Constituencies across the country.
He expressed disappointment that in the face of gross misconception and public criticism launched against the legislators, the executive arm of government has failed to clarify the role and limitations of the legislature on constituency projects.
The failure of the Executive Arm of government to own up publicly to their responsibility as regards the execution of constituency projects is the reason some members of the public have continued to accuse members of the National Assembly as having pocketed the monies meant for constituency projects,” Ogor said.
Several lawmakers who contributed to the debate claimed that they have become victims of politically motivated attacks in the constituencies owing to the issue of constituency projects.
They lamented that the misconception that lawmakers were in custody of the funds meant for the projects has become a ready tool in the hands of their political opponents in the build up to the 2011 elections.
Besides tasking the Presidency to ensure the prompt execution of the constituency projects across the country, the House has asked the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs to clarify the role of the lawmakers in the scheme of things.
It called on the Department of Information and Media of the National Assembly to take up the issue by enlightening the public on the role of the lawmakers in the selection, award, funding and execution of these projects.
The House also resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to identify all abandoned contracts under the MDG Constituency Project scheme across the federation with a view to re-awarding the contracts in the next six weeks.