Mr Abdulrazak Atunwa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Nigeria central state of Kwara has failed to account for the N40 million film grant which he nominated in the 2017 budget.
Mr Atunwa who is currently a member House of Representatives representing Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency has repeatedly shunned requests by transparency platform, Tracka, to account for this project and others nominated by him.
The former Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly has on more than one occasion ignored calls to list the beneficiaries of the film grant project.
In a renewed call by Tracka, it asked for the implementation status of the project.
“Dear Hon @Atunwa_1 It’s nine days now you have failed to account for the N40m provision of film grant to youth in Asa/Ilorin West federal constituency, that you nominated into 2017 budget. what is the implementation status of this project? We appreciate your urgent response,” Tracka tweeted on Sunday.
Mr Atunwa, however, has been campaigning on Twitter but appears not to have answers for Tracka. In a series of tweets, he promised Kwara people that he will invest in health, education and employment opportunities despite failing to account for previous projects nominated by him.
“Under my watch, we would consolidate on gains recorded and put #Kwara1st by massively investing in health, education, expand opportunities for employment and realization of dreams, that will guarantee inclusive Economic growth,” he wrote on his official Twitter account.
In Nigeria, federal lawmakers nominate projects that should be executed by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies into the national budgets annually but these lawmakers have oversight functions, which is, to monitor these projects.
Billions of naira is often lost to constituency projects because many of these are either poorly executed or not done at all.
In some cases, Tracka uncovered projects that have been nominated twice by the same lawmaker in consecutive budgets.
As a transparency agency, Tracka provides information to citizens on the projects nominated by their representatives and available in the budget.
“We ensure that community members understand that lawmakers are not in control of the finances or awarding contracts. This is a function of the MDA in charge,” Tracka explained on its platform.
Mr Atunwa is one of the over 400 lawmakers in Nigeria who have refused to be held accountable for projects which they include in the budget.