Mr. Onofiok Luke, a member of the House of Representatives from Akwa Ibom in what appears a shocking example of project inflation, has allegedly built a mini school Laboratory as his constituency project at the price of N25 million.
Mr. Luke who serves as the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary and a past speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, had in 2021 facilitated the construction of a science laboratory at the School of Health Technology in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as his constituency project.
Part of the things Mr. Luke claims to do is to furnish the Laboratory as part of the project. This is even as no equipment has been supplied for furnishing.
To ensure the project execution, the Nigerian government 2021 budgeted the sum of N25 million for it under its Zonal Intervention Project (ZIP). And, has since gone further to release funds for the project.
Under the deal, the Akwa Ibom lawmaker nominated the project using National Space Research and Development Centre and served as a supervisor of the project.
Contract for the project execution was awarded to Waliu Unique Global Concept Limited.
Tracka, a public accountability organization that visited the project site, says although the building has been erected, the Laboratory is yet to be equipped in line with the original design.
If Mr. Luke and the National Space Research and Development Centre, do not furnish and equip the laboratory, they may have shortchanged the people, as that does not conform to the project standard the government allocates funds.
Tracka officials added that apart from the newly built Laboratory, there are many buildings in the school that are in deplorable condition that needs urgent government intervention.
Constituency projects are nominated by the lawmakers for the needs of their constituents and recommended same to the executive during budgeting; this will help to improve the living condition of the people in their constituents through building local infrastructures.
However, Nigerian experience has shown that Lawmakers do not execute constituency projects as they appear in the national budget, and getting them to account for monies approved for such intervention is always difficult.
And, often, community residents are not aware such monies have been given to their representatives, and that makes accountability very difficult.
MAWA-Foundation could not immediately reach out to the National Space Research and Development Centre and the Akwa Ibom Enugu lawmaker for official responses.