A N24 million ICT centre assigned to Ago Iwoye, Ogun State as a 2016 Constituency project has been fully installed in the constituency office of the State’s Representative. Sited in Ago Iwoye, Ijebu North Local Government Area of the State with no less than 20,000 residents is a N24 million ICT Centre provision. It is noteworthy to mention the area harbours youths, mostly students in the secondary and tertiary institutions in the Ago Iwoye; this provision is such crucial to the community. However, when BudgIT’s Project Tracking Officer (PTO) revisited the town in February 2017 to observe the implementation of the ICT Centre provision, it was surprising to see that the project has been installed at the constituency office of Honourable Adekoya Adesegun with only 15 computers in sight.
BudgIT personnel accompanied the Tracka Field Officer and held an advocacy meeting with residents of Ago Iwoye in October 2016, who were totally oblivious of the budget provision. In their native language, they were informed about the 2016 provision of a N24 million ICT centre in the community. Paper copies of related line items in the budget, with names and contact details of the responsible government officials in charge of the projects, were printed and distributed to them.
The meeting highlighted the roles of elected public officials and encouraged the people to be involved in the budgeting process and their rights to demand government accountability to ensure service delivery. Field Officer reported school officials mentioned the Honourable, Adekoya Adesegun visited the Olabisi Onabanjo University offering to supply computers to the existing ICT department.
Despite the huge amount allotted to this project, there was no new ICT Centre constructed in the community. About 15 Computers and other accessories were installed at the constituency office which now serves as the ICT centre. We learnt residents are required to pay N500 for Identification cards, N1000 for desktop publishing and N300 per hour for internet browsing. The question is who receives this money and why are citizens paying for a FG funded project?
This provision is another instance of how citizens in the rural areas are underserved. The residents are extremely unsatisfied with the location of the “ICT Centre” as it is undoubtedly unable to offer much succour to the hundreds of youth in the community.
BudgIT is worried that the current legislator has decided to appropriate a community project as a private project as his inability to win the next election might jeopardise the entire project. It is important to note that if such project is built with public funds, it must be positioned in a place where citizens have equal access to the project irrespective of political affiliation.
We are not certain that the entire supplied computers and other equipment amounts to N24 million allocated for the project. We ask that Honourable Adekoya Adesegun provides the actual expense of the project and explain why the centre is in a private location.
Tracka, a project by BudgIT, is a citizen-driven platform where people irrespective of their location can collaborate, track and give feedback on public projects around them.