• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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National Assmbly inserted 7,447 projects worth ₦2.2trn in 2024 budget — BudgIT

Making constituency projects beneficial to Nigerians

A total of 7,447 projects culminating in ₦2.24tn were inserted in the 2024 budget by the National Assembly,  BudgIT,  a Nigerian Civic Startup disclosed in its report published on Wednesday.

Describing this as an ugly trend that was accelerated in the 9th National Assembly, BudgIT said the National Assembly  indiscriminately added projects to the budget, with most projects having no national significance but narrowed to personal interests.

A breakdown of the report showed that 55 of the projects, with a total value of  ₦580.7 billion, are greater than N5 billion per project. It also showed that 281 projects — each worth at least ₦1 billion — with a combined worth of N491bn, and 3,706
projects within the range of N100–500m, worth 759bn were inserted into the budget.

The report by BudgIT followed allegations by Abdul Ningi that over N3 trillion was not allocated to any projects in the 2024 budget totalling N28.7 trillion.

“Apart from the N100bn constituency projects, most of the insertions in the budget are for federal constituencies and senatorial districts.

For example,  1,777 projects worth N218.6bn are to be directly delivered in federal constituencies while 1,308 projects with  a value of ₦176 billion are directly in senatorial districts. Other categories of projects include 1,150 streetlights  worth N212bn, 427 boreholes worth N82.5bn, 170 ICT projects with a value of N30.95bn, and N7.61bn for empowerment of traditional rulers”, the report read.

A breakdown futher shows that 1,308 projects are to be implemented specifically  in senatorial districts, and lawmakers also added up  projects to their constituencies, at least N500 million each.

The report further revealed that 3% percent of the projects worth N632bn were inserted in the Ministry of Agriculture’s budget, raising its capital budget from N332bn to N963bn.

It would be recalled that in a previous analysis done by BudgIT on the 2021 and 2022 budget of the federal government, it was revealed that the National Assembly inserted 1,125 and
1,522 projects respectively in the 2021 and 2022 budgets of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (including quite several MDAs under it).

In other sinistries such as Science and Technology,  757 new projects worth N207bn were added and 263 projects with a value of N242bn were inserted by the National Assembly.

The report further exposed that certain agencies and organizations are targeted by the National Assembly members.

For example, the NIGERIAN BUILDING AND ROAD RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LAGOS, and FEDERAL COOPERATIVE COLLEGE, OJI RIVER, by National Assembly members  to insert projects.

“Most of these agencies don’t have the required technical capacity to execute the delegated projects, leaving a long list of poorly executed projects across the country”.

The report, urged that Citizens and Civil Society must henceforth be an indispensable Part of the Budgeting Process .