...addressing the accompanying corrupt practices.
The cross-sectoral bedrock and foundation for the crippling state of the education, healthcare, and WASH sectors in Nigeria can be attributed to institutional corruption, poor accountability and bad governance. The lack of accountability and transparency of budgeted funds allocated to these sectors through constituency projects, continue to be the reason residents suffer unjustly and are able to achieve their full potentials. Constituency projects were established to address infrastructure gaps of local communities such as the provision of standard primary healthcare, schools & learning facilities, adequate drinking water, etc. Often times, the funds for these projects’ are siphoned by elected representatives and lawmakers.
In addition, on the demand side, citizens are disinterested in providing oversight on government budgeting, spending, policies and activities including expenditure under constituency projects. This reluctance follows years of contractual abuse, corrupt practices and lack of trust in governance. Citizens have little or no information about budget allocations and many times, the constituency projects rarely reflect their needs and priorities. Also, there exists a huge gender gap in the decision-making process at all the levels of governance in Nigeria and in engaging the government on developmental issues affecting their communities. Even when making demands for accountability, and dividends of democracy, such gender disparity often exists.
To address this, Follow The Money (FTM) is leveraging its expertise on community empowerment and engagement, multi-stakeholder dialogues’ platform facilitation to mobilize and empower community governance structures and FTM champions. The model will identify and effectively provide oversight on social projects like the constituency projects’ implementation in their respective communities and enhance the capabilities of anti-corruption agencies.
Through effective collaborations and information sharing, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the media and investigative journalists on contractual abuse, evidence regarding the poor implementation of social projects. Community members would be mobilized and empowered to create demands that ensure that such projects reflect the needs of marginalized groups including seeing the needs through gender lenses. The creation of effective linkages between communities and government MDAs/legislators for gender mainstreamed service delivery on constituency projects’ implementation, has become expedient.