Bill Proposing 2.5% Statutory Allocation to Constituency Projects Passes Second Reading


By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

A bill seeking the statutory provision of 2.5 per cent of annual budgets for constituency development projects yesterday passed through second reading in  the House of Representatives.
Named ‘Bill for an Act to establish Constituencies Development Funds for the Purposes of even Development of all Constituencies in the Federation and for Other Connected Purposes,” it seeks to enhance provisions for constituency projects which are implemented by members of the National Assembly.
The bill also prescribes a minimum of five-year jail sentence for anyone who embezzles constituency development funds.
Sponsor of the bill, Hon. Solomon Adaelu (Abia PDP) said the bill, if passed into law would guarantee development of the grassroots and stop the lopsided distribution of constituency development funds.
There would be more tangibles to show our constituents, he argued.
If passed into law, the bill will proscribe the zonal intervention funds, which many lawmakers argued have been difficult to access.
Hon. Tahir Monguno  (Borno APC) stated that it has remained almost impossible to access the zonal intervention funds of N100 billion.
Presiding, Speaker Yakubu Dogara warned of the implications of passing the bill.
He explained that the zonal intervention fund is included in the Appropriation Act.
The Speaker also noted that the lawmakers currently get more than the proposed with 2.5 per cent for their constituency projects.
The bill was referred to the Committees on Constituencies, Appropriation and Finance for further legislative input.