Senator Stella Oduah representing Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly has canvased that at least 20 per cent of the annual budget of the Federal Government should carry constituency projects, which shall be set aside for “rural development”.
Senator Oduah, while leading a debate on Constituency Projects Bill on Thursday, said there was the need for institutional and legislative frameworks for the operation of constituency projects in Nigeria, thereby making it part of the national budget.
She said when passed into law, the Bill would afford legislators an opportunity to get their constituencies, especially the rural areas, developed, as they would be captured directly in the federal government’s budget.
“Projects under this Act, when passed, shall be community-based in order to ensure that the prospective benefits are available to a widespread cross-session of the inhabitants of a particular area.
“Any funding under this Act shall be for a complete project or a defined phase of a project and may include the acquisition of land,” she added.
Senator Oduah also explained that the Bill would lay to rest insinuations and misconceptions that lawmakers are directly in control of constituency projects.
She said, “It is instructive to note by way of educating the general public that members of the National Assembly merely identify the needs of the constituents and recommend same to the executive during budgeting.
“Ultimately, they have no direct control over their implementation; hence the award, financing and supervision of constituency projects are the preserves of Appropriation agencies other than the National Assembly”, she said.
DAILY POST recalls that the Bill for an Act to provide for Constituency Projects in the Annual Budget of the Federation (SB. 321) was read the first time on Tuesday, 15th November, 2016.
The Bill has been referred to the Committee on States and Local Government Areas for more legislative actions, and to report back within four weeks.
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