The Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group is advocating a number of reforms to eliminate problems of abandoned projects in Bayelsa State
THE Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group, NDEBUMOG, with support from Oxfam, is working towards ensuring inclusive in project execution and budgeting in Bayelsa State. To achieve its aim, the NDEBUMOG on May 27, organised a town hall meeting with people of Elebele community cluster which includes Amorokeni, Kolo I,II and III, Emeyal I and II, Elebele, Imiringi, Otuasega,Oruma, Ibelebiri and Etegwe II communities in Ogbia local government area of the state.
The group observed that in Elebele cluster there were no good road infrastructures and government projects at the public primary and secondary schools did not include the provision of adequate facilities and other instructional materials. The project for the electrification of Oruma and Otuasega communities contained in the 2012 and 2013 budgets had nothing on ground. It said due process was not followed in the procurement and bidding for capital projects awards.
The NDEBUMOG, therefore, recommended that communities in Ogbia LGA should be encouraged to develop a framework for prioritised projects to guide developmental processes in the communities and that government should include communities in the budget process and implementation. The group urged the government for proper baseline studies and that needs assessment should be conducted before projects are sited in communities.
It suggested that the ongoing dualisation of Yenegwe-Kolo-Nembe road and Opolo-Elebele road which terminates at Elebele should be extended to link other communities in the cluster. The group further said government should expedite action to complete projects within record time.
The communities, however, appealed to the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group to organise capacity building on budget monitoring for the Kolo Creek Development Foundation.
The group on May 28 organised another town hall meeting at Amassoma for Amassoma cluster comprising of Olugbobiri, Korokorosei, Amassoma and Aleibiri communities in Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor local government areas of Bayelsa State. At the meeting the group found out that most communities in Amassoma cluster lacked quality roads and that some road projects were not completed many years after they were awarded. One of the affected roads iss the dualisation of Amassoma main road (Oboro Road) which starts from the east to the west-end of Amassoma and there is the concrete walk-way from Aleibiri to Tuomo which has been abandoned.
The NDEBUMOG pointed out that government projects at the Aleibiri Technical College had been abandoned and that there were no women development centres in Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor council areas as contained in the 2013 budget of the state.
The group appealed for the extension of electricity to areas that had been developed from the point of last electricity wiring in Amassoma and revive the abandoned civic centre in the town. While urging the state government to apply due process in the procurement and bidding for contract awards and implement fully the state’s Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“Government should include communities in the budget process. Also, communities should be encouraged to submit Community Charter of Demand to guide the government on community projects. Uncompleted project in the budget of a particular fiscal year for communities should be reviewed and completed in the subsequent fiscal year. Shore protection projects at Olugbobiri/Amassoma should be completed. Civil society organizations and community-based organizations should form a forum on projects monitoring and budget tracking. We appeal to the Niger Delta Monitoring Group to publish uncompleted and on-going projects in Amassoma Cluster. Amassoma Cluster seeks to have a project monitoring platform that will be affiliated to NDEBUMOG,” the group said.
— Jun 8, 2015 @ 12:55 GMT