Hon. Fred Agbedi who represents Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in Bayelsa on Saturday said that the legislature lacks the powers to control funds appropriated for constituency projects.
Agbedi, who spoke during an interactive session with community leaders at his Zonal Intervention Project for empowerment of 30 beneficiaries from his constituency noted that the constituency projects were solely controlled by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAS).
According to the lawmaker, the impression that members of the National Assembly have access to constituency project funds was erroneous adding that the executive arm of government had over 90 per cent control of such projects sited in their constituencies.
He explained that the frustration brought about unrealistic expectations from members of the public was responsible for the challenge by Senate President to electorates to vote them out by 2023 if they do not like the faces of the lawmakers.
He said that the legislators had limited powers and control which does not include the award of contracts and payment but can only monitor and supervise projects within their constituencies by collaborating with the implementing MDAs.
“As the elected representatives of the people of Sagbama/Ekeremor, my job is to ensure that whatever is for our people get to them, and I will keep working hard to attract projects and I need to enlighten the community leaders that we are not given constituency project funds.
“We only have monitoring roles to ensure that when contracts are awarded by the MDAs, the projects are executed at the designated places within the constituency.
“Today we are here to witness the handing over of 30 motorcycles to the 26 wards within Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency and I will keep fighting to get more projects and empowerment schemes for our people.
“The important thing is to keep up the efforts of touching as many lives as possible and not necessarily to spotlight the people that have received help because it may negatively affect their psychology and dignity.
“What we are doing here for 30 people across 26 wards is not much but it is something and efforts are ongoing for more and my pledge to the people is that whatever is meant for them will be brought home to them. That is the pact that I have come home to fulfill,” Agbedi said.
The empowerment scheme which saw the distribution of 30 motorcycles was in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria office.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Court Ayagbo who applauded the lawmaker said that the poverty alleviation scheme by the SDGs was a welcome development as he would deploy the motorcycle to commercial use for daily income to his family.
Community leaders, chieftains of Peoples Democratic Party from Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency witnessed the ceremony.