Enugu: A Non Governmental Organisation, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), has launched an Abandoned Project (AbP) Application (App) to track, recover and complete over N150 billion abandoned projects discovered in South-East.
The Founder of CCIDESOR, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, revealed this on Saturday in Enugu while unveiling the AbP App and social media platforms of the Strengthening Citizens Advocacy and Civic Engagement through Technology (SCACE –Tech) Project.
The AbP App project, which is being sponsored by Charter Africa; European Union and GOREE Institute, would enhance good governance and citizens’ active participation in governance and holding leaders accountable to deliver dividends of democracy.
Ononamadu said that with the extensive but unfinished work of aggregating abandoned projects so far, “it is clear that South-East is the nation’s capital of abandoned projects,having more abandoned projects than other zones in the country”.
According to him, some people hearing of the AbP App coming on stream said the discovery of a huge deposit of abandoned projects in the zone was political, while others said we were being sponsored. Those allegations are false.
He said: “We are only interested in getting the government to recover huge public resources that are laying waste across the length and breadth of the zone. Some of these abandoned projects have been there for over 15 years.
“It is estimated that abandoned projects by Federal, states and LGAs, we have found already in the South-East are estimated to be over N150 billion. Imagine the recovery of the projects, what it can do to the economy of the South-East and the nation at large.”
Ononamadu, immediate past INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, said that the technological AbP App would help government to track past and current projects that were not completed but may have been wrongly reported as having been completed.
He said: “The AbP App will be useful to the executive, legislature and all statutory accountability agencies. It will strengthen the economy of the South-East, it will promote improvement in infrastructure and finally improve lives and livelihood.
“Now that the 2023 general election that will bring in new leaders is around the corner, this App will serve as an exposure of areas that require quick remediation.
“Even as campaigns are on, we have not heard those who want to become presidents and governors talk about how they will handle a huge volume of abandoned projects, which is a classic example of waste and abuse of public resources.”
He said that good governance delivery would check fraud,waste and abuse of public resources will reduce, adding that there would be strategy shift to corruption prevention and value reorientation as well as infrastructure upsurge to improve citizens’ welfare.
Ononamadu said that the SCACE-Tech App (AbP App) would use google map and data to collate abandoned capital projects locations mentioned for implementation in various communities.
“This method eliminates physical contact between the representatives and citizens that breeds violence, harm and intimidation.
“It also wipes away fake information with the picture of the status of the capital project uploaded.The App users will form a coalition on digital budget transparency at the end,”he said.
Earlier, Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Nnenna Onyenoha stressed that the app was necessitated by the need to cut waste in Government and enhance infrastructural development and societal advancement.
t Also, she explained that SCACE–Tech is not only a direct response to the growing intolerance of public accountability quests in Nigeria,but an extension of an abandoned projects’ pilot research in Imo in 2016.
Onyenoha urged states to keep their budgets more open by ensuring proactive disclosure of budget information from inception to formulation, implementation and evaluation as enshrined in chapter two of Freedom of Information Act.
She said: “The budget process is still tight and cumbersome. Some states hardly print their annual budget on time for us to work with nor put in their website on time for the public to download.
The application was test run in Imo first and thereafter deployed in the five states of the South East. In due course, it shall be deployed across Nigeria.
“For instance, it is difficult to get complete information of all abandoned projects and it was difficult getting the details of the contractors that abandoned the projects which are now polluting the environment or serving as hideouts for miscreants or breeding dangerous reptiles and animals.”
The AbP App is running in android and IOS with complimentary social media links like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Website for publicity and citizens mobilization and participation.
The AbP App website address is https://abandonprojects.org;
2349057073057 direct and WhatsApp number of AbP App; while the App can be downloaded from Google play store and soon in Apple store.