Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shuaibu, ON Sunday, said that the reasons there are abandoned and poor projects execution in the country is as result of contracts being awarded to political cronies rather than professionals.
He said this at event put up by Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) in conjunction with the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa) at the Niger Delta Learning Forum held in Benin City.
The deputy governor, represented by Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Demian Lawani, said until citizens start asking questions and holding their leaders accountable, the problem will remain unabated.
He said the people have the right to be involved in the projects executed in their communities, adding that the challenges confronting the people of the oil producing communities, is that they are not always placed in the know of any projects being sited in their communities thereby leading to the siting of projects that are not needed by them.
He said the current administration of the All Progressives Congress in the state, led by Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has changed the status quo by ensuring that contracts were bided for and given to professionals with the people in the know.
READ ALSO: TRAGEDY: 9 corps members drown in Taraba
Earlier, the Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor, in his speech entitled, ‘Participatory and Responsive Governance for Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta,’ said ANEEJ and LITE-Africa had trained independent civil society groups in the area of project monitoring adding that such has led to the successful monitoring of 237 projects in the Niger Delta region.
He lamented the high poverty rates in the region despite the huge resources flowing from the region through monthly allocation to the states since the return of democratic rule in 1999.