Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization, has disclosed that some 2017 Constituency projects in Kwara state worth Six Hundred and Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety-one Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Naira (₦609,791,120) were hard-to-track. This was contained in the 63-page 2017 Annual Report presented by ENetSuD on 6th July, 2019 at Kwara Hotel, Ilorin, Kwara State. During the report presentation by ENetSuD Coordinator (Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef), it was disclosed that some of these hard-to-track items include instructional materials, Empowerment items, Film grants, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship trainings, Utility vehicle, and Forest utilization products.
The instructional materials (books, school bags, mathematical set, laboratory equipment, etc) budgeted at the cost of ₦293,814,420 were supplied in early 2018 by Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for immediate distribution to schools by Sen. Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon. Razaq Atunwa as part of 2017 constituency projects of Federal Government. At the time of presenting the report, ENetSuD stated that the beneficiaries of the instructional materials facilitated by both lawmakers were not known, even though the constituency office of Sen. Saraki claimed to be distributing them to schools. Moreover, some of the materials were found in the constituency office of Sen. Saraki when ENetSuD visited to ascertain their availability, but the list of beneficiaries have not yet been provided by Sen. Saraki constituency office.
The ₦80 Million film grants facilitated by Rt. Hon. Razaq Atunwa and Hon. Tope Olayonu Danlad were domiciled under the Nigeria Film Corporation in Jos. The Corporation did not respond to the repeated Freedom of Information request by ENetSuD, and thus, could not account for how the grants were disbursed. Moreover, the beneficiaries lists of the grants were not known as at the time of presenting this report on 6th July 2019.
The Skill Acquisition and Enterpreneuship trainings facilitated by Hon Amuda-Kannike were executed by SMEDAN, who responded to ENetSuD’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request and disclosed that out of ₦35 million and ₦25 million respectively budgeted for them, it paid ₦17,480,000 and ₦16,606,000 to Dile Nigeria Ltd and Abilele Industries Ltd that respectively got the projects contract. ENetSuD found that SMEDAN provided fake lists of beneficiaries that were forged, as evident by the denial of the acclaimed beneficiaries of the projects of any participation in the trainings. Though Hon. Amuda-Kannike claimed to be in possession of an authentic list and maintained that the trainings were actually conducted, he did not provide a contrary beneficiaries list that could proof otherwise. ENetSuD has dragged SMEDAN to EFCC, ICPC and Nigeria Police on forgery, impersonation and other offenses related to the project.
The forest utilization products facilitated by Hon. Aliyu Ahman-Patigi Bahago was executed by Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN). Out of the ₦80 million budgeted, ₦57,337,297 was paid by FRIN to Optimal Concept Limited that got the project contract. ENetSuD requested Hon. Ahman-Patigi to provide the project location, but this was not done as at the time of presenting this report, and thus, the project could not be verified by ENetSuD.
Motorcycles projects were facilitated by Hon. Tope Olayonu Danlad and Hon. Zakari Mohammad and executed by SMEDAN. A sum of ₦9,677,745 was released by SMEDAN to Yuhaz merchants limited from ₦15 million budged for the former, while ₦8,326,500 was released to Salga Vit Limited out of ₦12,976,700 budgeted for the later. Moreover, Hon. Ahman-Patigi also facilitated supply of generating sets and some other empowerment items executed by Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, for which ₦24,284,925 was released to Abitat Consultants Nigeria Limited out of ₦30 million budgeted. Furthermore, another pick-up project was facilitated by Hon. Tope Olayonu Danlad for which ₦27,075,000 was released to Barosit Interbiz Nigeria Limited out of the ₦38 million budgeted. While ENetSuD confirmed that some of the items were distributed accordingly, the quantity distributed and their beneficiaries were not known, as the beneficiaries lists were not provided to ENetSuD, thus making the tracking of the items to be very difficult. Whether Hon. Tope Olayonu Danlad handed over the pick-up vehicle (being used as project utility vehicle) to his successor could not be ascertained.
ENetSuD decries appropriation of huge amount of taxpayers money on projects that are hard-to-track and not traceable, as their execution cannot be ascertained. ENetSuD therefore urges the 9th National Assembly members representing various Senatorial districts and Federal Constituencies to focus more on tangible projects that are verifiable and have direct impacts on the Kwarans.