Stella Oduah Senator wants constituency projects included in Constitution

She made the call while leading a debate on the Constituency Projects Bill during the Senate plenary session on Thursday.

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Stella Oduah

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Senator Stella Oduah has called for the inclusion of constituency projects in Nigeria’s Constitution.

She made the call while leading a debate on the Constituency Projects Bill during the Senate plenary session on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Senator Oduah, who represents the Anambra North Senatorial District, argued that at least 20 per cent of the annual budget of the Federal Government should be allocated to constituency projects, which would be used for “rural development”.

She observed that there was the need for institutional and legislative frameworks for the execution of constituency projects in Nigeria, hence making it part of the national budget.

She noted that when the Bill is passed, legislators would have an opportunity to get their constituencies, especially the rural areas, developed, as they would be captured directly in the federal government’s budget.

“Projects under this Act, when passed, shall be community-based in order to ensure that the prospective benefits are available to a widespread cross-session of the inhabitants of a particular area,” she said.

“Any funding under this Act shall be for a complete project or a defined phase of a project and may include the acquisition of land.

“It is instructive to note by way of educating the general public that members of the National Assembly merely identify the needs of the constituents and recommend same to the executive during budgeting.

“Ultimately, they have no direct control over their implementation; hence the award, financing and supervision of constituency projects are the preserves of Appropriation agencies other than the National Assembly,” she added.

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The Bill for an Act to provide for Constituency Projects in the Annual Budget of the Federation (SB. 321) was read the first time on Tuesday, 15th November, 2016.

The Bill was on Thursday December 8 referred to the Committee on States and Local Government Areas for more legislative actions, and to report back within four weeks.

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