Senator Onyewuchi’s Colossal Failure From 2011 – 2021 (II)

Senator Onyewuchi’s Colossal Failure From 2011 – 2021 (II)
Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi
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Continues from part I.

CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS: Given that the legislature possess power to provide constituency services, an understanding of this function is instrumental in appraising constituency funds with respect to legislative oversight. While different nomenclatures of constituency funds exist across national cases (Pork Barrel in the United States, Constituency Development Fund in Zambia), a defining feature of its operation in Nigeria opens a vacuum to be filled to ensure probity in the management of the fund. One of the measures put in place by the government to facilitate development is constituency fund.

Constituency funds have evolved as a form of government funding appropriated by the legislature, directed to ensure equitable distribution of public goods through constituency-based projects. Public goods or projects of this kind include the provision of boreholes and public health services, renovations of roads and parking facilities, lighting of public spaces and roadways, among others.

Read More: Onyewuchi’s Colossal Failure From 2011 – 2021 (I)

The import of legislative oversight vis-à-vis effective implementation of constituency funds is anchored on the premise that legislators, being representative of the constituents, are vested with the mandate to promote good governance in their constituencies. This explanation to the reader is necessary for many reasons, however, prominent amongst them is the erroneous impression created by Ezenwa Onyewuchi in his score card that made it appear like he was the ‘sponsor’ of the projects. No! He can only nominate and oversee.

That said, a quick look at the score card made available by Onyewuchi would indicate that he carried out a total of ninety-eight projects (Empowerments inclusive) in eight years as Member representing Owerri Municipal/North/West Federal Constituency, to buttress this, it means that in eight-budget cycles, he was only able to attract 98 projects. Whether or not those projects or empowerments as the case maybe were actually carried out in reality would be unraveled in this report.

As usual, we would be noting down the ‘Projects’ listed in his report in brackets while bringing the reader up to speed with our findings. This is a painstaking report that required us to even visit the various communities in the constituency that was terribly misrepresented by Ezenwa Onyewuchi.

(FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH FOR OVER 150 PATIENTS/RESIDENTS OF OWERRI NORTH/WEST/MUNICIPAL AT HON. EZENWA ONYEWUCHI’S CONSTITUENCY OFFICE AT UGWU ORJI OWERRI OPPOSITE GLASS HOUSE)

(FREE EYE CHECK AND DISTRIBUTION OF OVER 500 MEDICAL GLASSES TO EYE PATIENTS/RESIDENTS OF OWERRI NORTH/WEST/MUNICIPAL AT HON. ONYEWUCHI’S CONSTITUENCY OFFICE AT UGWU ORJI OWERRI OPPOSITE GLASS HOUSE)

(FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH FOR OVER 2000 PATIENTS/RESIDENTS OF OWERRI MUNICIPAL/OWERRI WEST/OWERRI NORTH AT UGWU EKWEMA).

(FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH AND TREATMENT FOR OVER 1000 RESIDENTS OF OWERRI NORTH AT ULAKWO HEALTH CENTRE)

(FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH AND TREATMENT FOR OVER 1000 RESIDENTS OF OWERRI WEST AT ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, IRETTE, OWERRI WEST).

(FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH AND TREATMENT FOR OVER 1000 RESIDENTS OF OWERRI MUNICIPAL AT OHA OWERRI HALL, OWERRI).

(FREE EYE SERVICES AND DISTRIBUTION OF OVER 750 MEDICAL GLASSES TO EYE PATIENTS/RESIDENTS OF OWERRI WEST/NORTH/MUNICIPAL AT CENTRAL SCHOOL UMUOMA NEKEDE OWERRI WEST, EZIALA UNITY TOWN HALL, EMII, OWERRI NORTH AND OHA OWERRI HALL, OWERRI MUNICIPAL AND EYE TREATMENT OF 1454 PATIENTS).

OUR FINDINGS:

– All seven (7) items were captured under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) directly under the ministry of labour in the 2016 budget but were moved to 2017 due to paucity of funds.

– The project was tagged ‘MEDICAL OUTREACH FOR OWERRI FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY’ in the said budget.

– The total budgeted sum was ten million naira (10,000,000.00).

– By the second quarter of 2017, all funds had been released.

– The first and second items listed above were held simultaneously at Ugwu Orji the same week, then again, the numbers were outrageously inflated as eyewitnesses told Africa Daily News, New York that less than 100 medical eye glasses were dispatched as against the 500 stated in Onyewuchi’s report.

– The medical outreach was held at Ugwu Ekwema, Oha (Owerri hall), Irete, Eziala Unity town hall and Ugwu Orji, however, it was shocking to find out that all numbers were ridiculously inflated.

– The Medical Outreach for Ulakwo Health Center could not be confirmed as many members of the community confirmed to Africa Daily News, New York that neither the medical outreach nor the distribution of eye glasses were held between 2016 and 2019 when Ezenwa Onyewuchi exited the House of Representatives.

(DONATION OF WHEELCHAIRS TO OVER 1000 DISABLED PERSONS AT HON. EZENWA ONYEWUCHI’S CONSTITUENCY OFFICE UGWU ORJI OWERRI OPPOSITE GLASS HOUSE). OUR FINDINGS: Outrageously inflated. Less than 150 of those wheelchairs were distributed.

(SETTING UP OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN ALL AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN OWERRI FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY FOR WOMEN AND YOUTH GROUPS AND DONATION OF 92 KEKE ONYEWUCHI (100 TRICYCLES) TO THE WOMEN AND YOUTHS COOPERATIVE GROUPS IN ALL AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN OWERRI FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY).

OUR FINDINGS: – The project was captured under the Project Development Institute (PRODA) which is domiciled under the ministry of science and Technology.

– The total project sum was not made public.

– Ezenwa Onyewuchi ensured that all disbursements were completely released before the second quarter of 2017.

– Eyewitnesses who pleaded anonymity categorically stated that the mode of selection of beneficiaries was shrouded in secrecy. From available and reliable reports, all 92 tricycles were used to ‘settle’ political ‘boys’.

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT GOVERNMENT COLLEGE OWERRI).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT ORIEAMA MARKET SQUARE, NEKEDE, OWERRI WEST LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT ORIE OBIBI MARKET SQUARE, OWERRI NORTH LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT TIMBER MARKET NAZE, OWERRI NORTH LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT RELIEF MARKET OWERRI MUNICIPAL LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT POLICE BARRACKS SHELL CAMP OWERRI MUNICIPAL)

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT CHRIST CHURCH OWERRI MUNICIPAL LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT AT NEKEDE ANCIENT KINGDOM, OWERRI WEST LGA).

(CONSTRUCTION OF A 10,000 CAPACITY SOLAR WATER PROJECT IN NKWO-UKWU MARKET, IHIAGWA, OWERRI-WEST LGA).

Our Findings: – All 8 water projects were captured under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) directly under the ministry of labour in the 2016 budget, however paucity of funds moved them to the 2017 budget.

– The total contract sum for the project was forty-seven million naira (47,000,000.00)

– The bidding process was shrouded in secrecy.

– Most of the boreholes visited are now moribund possibly because the construction was poorly done or due to poor maintenance culture.

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF A 6 CLASSROOM BLOCK AT URATTA SECONDARY SCHOOL, OWERRI NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING A 6 CLASSROOM BLOCK AT HOLY ROSARY EMEKUKU OWERRI. NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF A 3 CLASSROOM BLOCK AT IRETTE SCHOOL OWERRI WEST)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF A 3 CLASSROOM BLOCK AT SAMUEL NJEMANZE PRIMARY SCHOOL OWERRI MUNICIPAL)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF 2 NOS OF 3 CLASSROOM BLOCKS AT ORJI COMPREHENSIVE SECONDARY SCHOOL, ORJI URATTA, OWERRI NORTH)

Our Findings: – All 8 projects were awarded under the Anambra/Imo River Basin Authority which is under the purview of the Ministry of water resources.

– The project sum varied between thirteen to eighteen million naira.

– None of these projects were constructed between 2016 and 2019 when Ezenwa Onyewuchi held sway as the lawmaker for Owerri federal constituency.

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF MODERN CIVIC HALL AT EGBELU OBUBE, OWERRI NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF MODERN CIVIC HALL AT ORIE URATTA, OWERRI NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING OF A MODERN CIVIC HALL AT UGWU EKWEMA OWERRI MUNICIPAL)

Our Findings:

(RENOVATION OF ORIE UBOEGBELU MARKET EMEKUKU OWERRI- NORTH)

– Not completed.

(CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR STREET LIGHT AT UMUKEHI, ORJI URATTA OWERRI NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR STREET LIGHT AT UMUOGI, ORJI URATTA OWERRI NORTH).

(CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR STREET LIGHT AT OWAELU URATTA OWERRI NORTH)

(CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR STREET LIGHT AT EKE UKWU MARKET OWERRI MUNICIPAL)

(CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR STREET LIGHT AT OHI OWERRI WEST)

Our findings: – The projects were captured as ‘CONSTRUCTION OF FEDERAL STREET LIGHTS FOR OWERRI FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY’ in the 2017 budget.

– They were captured under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) directly under the ministry of labour

– The total contract sum was fifteen million naira (15,000,000.00) and records from the ministry have shown that the contractor was mobilised.

– The project has not started till date.

– Existing street lights were provided by the State Government.

SUMMARY: At this stage it is important to summarise with the following:

– We couldn’t verify the 300 KVA and 500 KVA transformer claims by Onyewuchi because the exact locations were not disclosed in the report.

– Provisions were made for the supply of 9 SUMEC (FIRMAN 3000) generators for Owerri federal constituency in the 2017 budget. This project was awarded about thirteen million naira (13,000,000.00). It was neither done nor mentioned by Ezenwa Onyewuchi.

To Be Continued

AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK

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