We resolved to track projects in the State Capital of Cross River State, Calabar, which is also known as the Canaan City and it settles over 400,000 Nigerians.
The team tracked 15 Federal Government Constituency projects in Calabar for the months of February and March, to drive transparency and sustain better service delivery from the Government. It’s deplorable to note of the total projects tracked (15); only one has reached completion.
The number of projects tracked: 15
Number of completed: 1
Number of Ongoing: 5
Number of Not Done: 8
We organized a town hall meeting at Adiabo-Ukpakata community where there was a provision for a N10 million Erosion Control project In the 2015 budget. Surprisingly, this project has repeatedly appeared in the last two annual budgets, yet the major road to the community is in a deplorable manner as a result hindering the transportation of farm produce to other communities and affecting the economic means of the indigene.
We observed some of the projects were reiterated and moved forward from the 2014 budget provisions. For example the urban renewal/development of essential infrastructure in Agbokim waterfalls, Cross Rivers (ongoing) with an estimated amount of N50 million from the 2015 budget.
Another example is the Completion of Iwuru Road Akamkpa LGA, Cross River with an estimated sum of N22.5 million, and we discovered the road linking the community is a highway with no road under construction.
The Tracka team also perceived the reluctant attitude and hostility of the Locals to divulge information about projects, particularly when the Senator is an indigene of the Community.
A typical example is the provision of an abandoned N50 million, New Jerusalem bridge/road, Agbokim waterfalls project in Agbokim community, Cross River state. We tried to engage the indigenes, but the Chairman of the Community rejected our advances claiming the Senator, John Enoh is a Son of the Soil.
Our research shows most of the indigenes are unaware of the existing budget provision, showing a strong level of apathy within the communities of Cross River. Also, we noticed a disconnect between the citizen’s needs and the budgetary provisions.
The projects tracked lacked relevance to the people, and it seems the people were not consulted before the budget process initiation. For example, a Provision of basic infrastructure at youth development centre ikom with a budgeted amount of N100 million.The project is of no economic importance to the community as they have more pressing needs such as the construction of good schools and provision of portable water.
The Tracka team will continue to follow projects within Calabar and ensure their implementation by holding more advocacy and sensitization campaigns to provide information to the Community members, ensure they are acutely aware of budgetary provisions that directly affects them and request to be included in the budget making process. Also, we will engage their Representatives at the National Assembly to ensure project implementation and completion.