NGO Decries Poor Implementation of Govt Projects in Plateau

An NGO, Accountability Lab Nigeria, has decried the poor implementation of government projects across the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau.

Mr Odeh Friday, the Country of the organisation, said this at a forum it organised for stakeholders on Open Contracting and Project Accountability, on Wednesday in Jos.

Odeh explained that the forum is part of its”Anti-Corruption and Innovation Project (ACIP), funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and suported by the Open Contracting Partnership.

He added that the forum had provided opportunity to present the findings of the projects it tracked to the stakeholders for their inputs.

”Going by the projects we tracked in Plateau, the outcome has not been satisfying; what we have seen from the projects by government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) are not too good.

”In some areas the projects are not what the citizens want, meaning needs assessment was not carried out, while other projects are not completed to the approved specifications,”he decried.

Odeh further said that information gathered from the stakeholders forum would be taken to the State Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), toward engaging citizens on any intended projects.

“The primary goal of the forum is to create an environment that encourages collaboration and dialogue among diverse stakeholders, including government officials, CSOs, technology innovators, and the private sector.

”By fostering a culture of openness and accountability, the forum seeks to drive positive change in the field of public projects.

”It is a pivotal step toward achieving the objectives outlined in the UNDP-funded ACIP.

”By promoting open contracting practices, the forum will contribute to the prevention of corruption, reduction of inefficiencies, and enhancement of overall governance public projects.

“The outcomes of this initiative are expected to catalyse positive changes in the public service delivery landscape, ultimately benefiting the citizens.”he explained. Naira Devaluation Deepens Economic Crisis in Nigeria

Mr. Yibilsu Dogo, the Acting Director of Plateau BPP, said the bureau is satisfied with the level of monitoring done by the Accountability Lab.

“They are helping in informing the citizens about their rights to inquire about the projects sited in their communities and to even know that they are supposed to take ownership of those projects.

“Honestly, this organisation is greatly helping us by doing what the job we supposed to be doing.”

Dogo, however, disclosed that the bureau is handicapped in terms of logistics in discharging its duties.

Prof. Patricia Lar, the Chairperson of the Coalition of Civil Society and Media on accountability, thanked Accountability Lab for the initiative, adding that it had further sensitised Plateau citizens on the open contracting processes in the state.

She said the coalition, with the support of accountability lab had tracked over 16 projects in the education and health  sector in the state.

Stakeholders at meeting include community leaders, CSOs, contractors, government officials and the media.