SAY NO CAMPAIGN COMMUNITY NETWORK MOVES AGAINST ABANDONED PROJECTS IN KANO AND BORNO STATES.
Over the years, Say No campaign in the interest of entrenching accountability in government has continued to engaged community members, labour and trade unions members on accountability discourse.
The Say No Campaign Anti-corruption network made up of community members, Labour and Trade Unionists existing in seven states, are identifying projects of community interest and pushing for their adequate implementation for the benefit of their communities. Their exertions unraveled several poorly executed projects, as a result, lying redundant in communities, abandoned and converted to community toilets.
In Mala kyariri, Mafa local government of Borno state, for instance, a Primary Health Care facility was shabbily built within the space of 3 months and abandoned, without equipment. Community members have converted the facility to a public defecation center while vandalizing major fittings of the buildings including doors and windows. This was meant to be the only healthcare facility in the locality, but abandoned by government.
In Jere local government as well, a contractor, Prusage Drilling Nigeria (owned by the late Alh. Mai Daribe), who is also an indigene of the community got the award to build a motorized borehole fitted with a generator set and complete piping network to supply water to 300 household, in the year 2000. This contractor only drilled the borehole which supplied water for a year at the project site and since 2001 the project has remained abandoned. As a result, community members for these years are forced to either buy water lavishly from water sellers or visit the resident of the contractor to pay for water sourced from the contractor’s private borehole.
This is the reality in most communities across states in Nigeria where contractors collude with government officials to dupe communities of functional infrastructural development necessary to improve conditions of lives. While these communities suffer lack of access to health care, drinking water and good education, state capitals are decorated with fancy projects, buildings and campaign billboards. It is a regular sight to see children and young adult roam aimlessly in the streets without a plan. Government seems to be far from the people but only near in times of elections.
This is why networks like the Community Anti-corruption Working Group (CAWG) and Labour and Trade Union Network Against Corruption (LATUNAC) must not relent in fishing out unscrupulous contractors and pressurize them for full and adequate execution of projects in their respective communities.
The effort of these community members and unionists has also led to the completion of a previously abandoned project site, as well as exciting action for the resuscitation of other abandoned projects in their state. For Instance, the labour union in Kano state succeeded in getting the contractor to complete the previously abandoned Yahaya- gusau 1.6km road project, connecting two commercial roads, which was awarded by the preceding government. The road has been completed and commissioned by the state government.
The Say No Campaign Anti-corruption network in Borno and Kano states has employed steps at different levels to ensure accountability and Judicious usage of project funds to serve its purpose in their state.
In Borno state, the network engaged State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to complete an abandoned classroom blocks in Mafoni primary school, abandoned since 2006. This intervention will improve the teaching condition of the school and address the overcrowded classrooms currently being experienced.
While appreciating efforts of the Say No Campaign team in embedding accountability, Kano State Residence Anti-Corruption Commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), Barr. Ibrahim Garba assigned a desk officer to work with Say No Campaign community groups and unionist in tracking abandoned project in Kano state, during a courtesy visit by the project team.
There is always a thousand and one reason government will fail in its responsibility to the people and state, but by collaborating with one another, voices will get louder in demanding for improved governance. Failure to sustain this will keep our communities in absolute dejection.