By Adedeji Egbebi
AN investigative journalist at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Yekeen Akinwale says Federal Government should do more to monitor various projects awarded across the country.
Sharing his experience at a two-day Open Contracting Workshop for journalists and members of Civil Societies Organisations (CSOs) in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, Akinwale decried the high rate of abandoned projects in the country.
Akinwale said that the federal government, states as well as local governments must collaborate more in projects planning, execution and monitoring as many projects were abandoned due to lack of collaboration between the three tiers of government.
The workshop was organised by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), a civil society organisation promoting open contracting in Nigeria.
“It is unfortunate that government spends a lot of money to execute projects across the country, but many of them are either uncompleted or abandoned because of poor synergy between the stakeholders and monitoring,” he said.
“There are issues of contracts awarded to incompetent contractors, some awarded to politicians while some don’t even exist in reality but on paper.”
Akinwale, who is the 2018 DAME Investigative Journalist of the year, cited abandoned plastic waste recycling plants in Osogbo, Ekiti and Kaduna as examples.
He stressed that poor synergy between stakeholders led to why the multi-billion naira projects that ought to generate revenue, create job and rid the environment of plastic waste lies in ruins.
Akinwale also charged the media and the CSOs to work together to amplify good governance, transparency and accountability noting that they both have complementary roles to make government accountable to the citizenry.
The Programme Director at PPDC, Ifeoma Onyebuchi, while addressing participants at the close of the workshop identified contracting as, ” governments number one corruption risk”.
She submitted that any project to be implemented should have a link to the four points agenda of the present government, which include: social investment, knowledge economy, infrastructure and industrial development and agriculture and rural development.
The workshop was attended by CSOs, media, and private sectors, individuals and groups wholly or partly independent of any institutions.