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Yar’Adua stops N60bn constituency projects

By Tordue Salem
President Umaru Yar’Adua may have directed ministers to drop some constituency projects worth N60 billion and nominated for implementation by lawmakers in the 2009 Appropriation Act.

A source said the Presidential directive may have come on the heels of the suspicion that such projects may be a fodder for graft.

According to the source in Abuja, the President was livid with the level of corruption in the implementation of constituency projects, and sought a clear separation of duties between the three tiers of government.

According to the source, the lawmakers included the projects in the budget, but the implementation of such may be an indirect usurpation the constitutional roles of states and local governments.

He cited the N8.045bn rural electrification project enlisted in the budget, N4bn construction of 196 primary health care centres, N8,057bn construction of rural roads, and community stores around the country, among others.

The source also disclosed that the lawmakers often go as far as even recommending contractors for the execution of the nominated projects, against the constitutional provision of  federalism.

Yar’Adua said much on some the projects inherent in the 2009 Act, in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole last Thursday.


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