Hadeja urges lawmakers to use N200m constituency allocation to boost grassroots development
Lawmakers in the Ninth Assembly have been enjoined to make their N200 million constituency allocation have an impact on the lives of their constituents through political cooperation with the local governments and other legislature in their respective states.
Senator Ibrahim Hadeja representing Jigawa North East said this in an interview with Tribune Online at his office in Abuja.
He said lawmakers should develop project map capturing all the local government within their district and work together with their respective states to achieve maximal project distribution in their constituency for the benefit of their constituents.
Hadeja said, when senators engage their colleagues in the House of Representatives, state assemblies and the local government chairmen within their senatorial district and share their project ideas, it will help eliminate cases of project duplicity in one area.
He explained that it will help them to decide whether to build schools, bore-holes, or hospitals. He also said it may enable them to know if they would need to equip already built schools and hospitals as against building a new structure that may not provide the needed impact on the constituent.
The lawmaker said that is the only way the legislature can direct the utilization of the N200m constituency project allocation to add value to the grass root and boost the condition of living for these Nigerians who look up to the political leadership for development.
Hadeja argued that the essence of governance is to impact positively on the lives of the people being led and not to be blindly led by political consideration and unhealthy competition that makes a senator build borehole in his name in a community because of fears of not being elected by the people.
He also said that in some cases because of political consideration, senators contribute to concentrating projects in one community leaving out other areas that would need projects that could be executed to increase their living condition.
He maintained that senators can increase the level of benefits of their N200 million constituency projects allocation for their constituents by engaging the local governments and other state actors relevant to their senatorial districts.
His words: “If I have a situation where my State Government is doing too many micro-projects through the State House of Assembly members, there should be a correlation between what that State Assemblyman is doing and the Local Government chairman so that there shouldn’t be duplication.
“My brother, this is my compendium of projects, let me see your budget. We are doing the same thing here, take this while I take the other. At the State level, there is that synergy and then I come in. The constituency project we are talking about if you multiply by 9 Assemblymen in my senatorial district that is almost running to over N1b which is more than my N200m constituency project.
“So for me to sit here and conceive a constituency project without bringing them in, it is a complete failure of planning and budgeting. This is what I think should be happening to establish synergy between Local Government and others by organising a meeting.
“Send me an e-copy we look at it and I call so that we can correlate. Instead of taking my N200m and breaking it into pieces it may not make impact. I can easily take my N200m, go and meet the Governor that I have a constituency project that is worth N350m, here is my N200m, add N150m for me let me go and do 200 ward beds in a general Hospital in Hadejia or a female Hostel in the State University at Kafin Hausa.
“That will be something big. It is something that will be visible and it will cater for all the 9 local governments in my senatorial zone.
“I believe that if we do this as senators we will be able to make a lot of impact in the next four years.”