Civil Society Organization (CSO) operating under the aegis of ‘Elites Network for Sustainable Development’ (ENetSuD), has dragged Akorede Community along Akerebiata in Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State and Kwara Communities Social Development Agency (KWCSDA) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over KWCSDA-funded community projects.
It will be recalled that KWCSDA is a world bank-assisted Agency of Kwara State Government that provides financial and technical supports to communities to articulate and implement development plans. KWCSDA supported Akorede Community with 90% of the cost of road, drainage and electricity projects while the community co-funded the projects with 10% of the cost. The overall contract sum of the projects is Nine Million, One Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand, and Fifty Naira (₦ 9,164,050), derived from [₦ 1,543,000 (Electricity) + ₦ 919,050 (Road and culverts) + 6,702,000 (Drainage)].
In a petition signed by the organization Coordinator (Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef) and submitted to the Ilorin Zonal Head of the EFCC, ENetSuD disclosed that its re-evaluation of the project showed that the cost of the works done at the site is ₦ 5,811,543 instead of ₦ 9,164,050 contract sum approved by KWCSDA. Thus, “the cost of items not executed by the community is Three Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Seven Naira (₦ 3,352,507), which represents 37% of the contract sum”
Explaining further, ENetSuD told the EFCC boss that “despite the full payment of the 90% counterpart fund by KWCSDA, the Community failed to complete the projects as per the approved specification. KWCSDA also failed to recover the mismanaged fund from the community but only blacklisted the community”
“Thus, the taxpayers’ money worth ₦3,352,507 mismanaged by the community has not served the purpose it was meant for and has been allegedly diverted by some members of the community. It is our strong opinion that KWCSDA has failed in its responsibility to ensure proper use of taxpayers’ money it is releasing for communities to execute the project. KWCSDA also failed to ascertain that proper spending of each phase of fund released to communities is achieved before the further release of money for other stages (phases)”.
“As an organization that wanted result and proper use of public fund (and not prosecution), we have given both KWCSDA and the Community sufficient time (as pleaded by both parties) to refund the mismanaged amount and use it for completion of the project in the public interest. However, both parties have failed to do the needful, as there is no clear indication that the community is ready to refund the money”.
“As a Civil Society Organization that fights against corruption, we do not have the power to prosecute any agency, contractor, community association or persons that have been found guilty of an alleged corruption based on our findings. However, we can refer such allegation and findings to your good office that is empowered to investigate and prosecute for further actions”, EFCC told.
“We pray to EFCC to further investigate the projects and our findings, ensure that the mismanaged amount is recovered and used to complete the projects according to the approved specification, and do any other thing that will ensure that Kwara money work for Kwarans”, ENetSuD told EFCC.