Mr. Emeka Chinedu, an Imo state lawmaker in the House of Representatives has claimed the sum of N15 million was spent for the construction of a toilet in Afor-Oru market at Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of the state, in what appears a shocking example of contract inflation that has helped undermine Nigeria’s ability to achieve development.
Constructing a modern toilet in Imo together with a house average N1.5 million. A civil engineer told MAWA FOUNDATION that amount should cover building a three-bedroom bungalow with each of the rooms having a toilet and bathroom together with the visitor’s own.
The Imo toilet, constructed at Afor-Oru market in Ahiazu, has a mini shelter covering it. Indeed, the toilet has no special facilities that will take up N15 million as claimed by the lawmaker, Mr. Jide Ofor, a resident of Afor-Oru told MAWA FOUNDATION.
In 2020, the Imo lawmaker using Projects Development Institute (PRODA), a parastatal under the Federal ministry of Science and Technology nominated the construction of a toilet at the Afor-Oru market Ahiazu, as part of his constituency project. A nomination the Federal Government had since allocated the sum of N15 million for its execution.
Worse still, Tracka team that visited the project, said the toilet has been completed and locked up with nobody using it, a development that defeats the reason Federal Government allocated funds for the project.
Another Tracka official, told MAWA FOUNDATION, although the project was supervised by PRODA, the contractor is not known.
Constituency projects are nominated by the lawmakers for the needs of their constituents using MDAs, and recommend same to the executive during budgeting; this will help to improve the living condition of the people in their constituents, particularly the rural dwellers.
However, Nigerian experience has shown Lawmakers from both federal and state in connivance with MDAs they usually use in nominating the projects, ensure that the constituency projects are executed with corruption taking over the whole exercise.
Often, contracts for the constituency projects are highly inflated, projects poorly executed and contracts awarded to companies that belong to the lawmakers and their cronies with perfect plans in place to allow for kickbacks.
And, often community residents are not aware of the amount of monies given to their representatives to carry out constituency projects in their area, and that makes accountability very difficult.
MAWA FOUNDATION could not immediately reach out to Emeka Chinedu, the lawmaker for a response.