Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, March 30, 2009

Earmarks without accountability

What if money was appropriated and spent for "bridges to nowhere," and no one ever checked to see if the "bridges to nowhere" (i.e. "constituency projects") were even built? Is that what it's like in Nigeria? (Thanks to Imnakoya for bringing this up.)

Legislators get 60bil naira for constituency projects…

"What are constituency projects? And how did they come about?...

"The answers to my questions are best answered by Senator Femi Okurounmu [left] in his Patriotic Punches column on Nigeria Tribune. He reveals the idea of constituency projects of legislators first surfaced during the 1999 - 2003 National Assembly while he was in the national assembly. He goes on to explain further:
[Constituency projects were created] to ensure a minimum presence of government in every constituency by having some grass-roots projects sited in each one, during the budgeting process… Legislators were merely required to identify projects which they wished to be sited in their constituencies for inclusion in the budget, with a financial ceiling for the budgetary provisions for such projects in each constituency.

The award of contracts for, and the supervision and payments for such contracts were left completely in the hands of the appropriate executive agencies of government. For example as a senator, my constituency borehole projects were put under the projects of Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority, and the contracts for them were awarded and paid for by that agency.

"I’m curious to know how the 60 billion naira for this year will be spent and projects monitored…"

What You Need to Know -- a study guide for AP Comparative Government and Politics

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At 4:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The principal character of the Nigerian politicians is corruption. The failure of government has encouraged this in many facets including the constituency project. There is what i call allocation without execution when projects deemed to have been executed with the resources allocated to it vanished without any execution. This is Nigerian politics and government. leadership by looting.

Omololu Fagbadebo,
Department of Political Science,
Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


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