The people of Borno South are clamouring for accountability of funds said to have been expended on constituency projects in the district as the campaign for 2023 election draw near.
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume represents the district in the Senate.
It is believed that billions of naira have been allocated annually by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Budget Office of the Federation for constituency projects across the country since 2014.
For Borno South Senatorial district with nine local government areas of:Biu,Hawul,Shani,Bayou,Kwaya-Kusar,Chibok,Damboa,Askira-Uba and Gwaoza,in 2016 alone,N2.436billion was allegedly allocated for constituency projects but some claim the projects appear on paper as they did not see them.
Ndume , faced with this situation in the past, claimed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should be blamed for the lapse as they were the ones hiring contractors executing constituency projects while lawmakers recommended.
Based on this premise, some Borno South constituents said Ndume could not exonerate himself from blame if projects allocated to the area were not properly executed as it was within his power to supervise.
Documents obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) revealed that N500million was released for skill acquisition and take-off grant to 250 people from Borno South, with additional N500million for entrepreneurship training and take-off grant to 250 trainers by SMEDAN.
SDGs also released N600million for the supply of empowerment materials, N120million for drilling of boreholes with hand pumps, N240million for the supply of tractors and accessories, and N240million for the construction of classroom blocks.
MDGs, on its part, released N236million for the procurement of tricycles, sewing machines, grinding machines, water pumps, moulding machines and vulcanizing machines during the same period.
Many locals claimed ignorance of many of the projects even as beneficiaries could not be located when CDAnews visited.
The projects and empowerment programs, according to many natives, would have transformed Borno South tremendously in areas of poverty alleviation, youth and women empowerment, job creation, education and establishment of small scale industries if they had been judiciously used.
Borno South, which has a favourable climatic condition, is an agricultural endowed geo political zone whereby fruit trees are major commercial products, in addition to its relative peace as farmers are eager to increase their yield and contribute to the food security of the state, and the nation at large.
Meanwhile, further investigation revealed that many communities in the district are suffering from perennial water shortage, with many natives arguing that if boreholes with hand pumps were drilled with the funds allocated by SDGs in 2016, it would have brought succor to majority of the people who continue to suffer untold hardship by sourcing drinking water from ponds and rivers to the detriment of their health.
Ndume, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, has been in the Red Chamber for 12 years, and has also indicated interest to re-contest his seat come 2023.
But aggrieved APC delegates from the district are threatening to vote him out in the forthcoming primaries, saying poor execution of the constituency projects as a result of what they described as lack of supervision amounted to non-performance on the part of the senator.
The Senator was not on available as at the time of filling this report.