A solar powered borehole project built by the Federal Government in the Obeledu community of Anaocha Local Government Area, as a Constituency Project under the supervision of erstwhile Senator Victor Umeh, representing Anambra Central, has not benefitted the people of the community for whom it was built, as the people are denied access to the borehole, which is built within the compound of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Obeledu. This was confirmed by an independent project monitoring and tracking organisation, Tracka, an arm of BudgIT Nigeria.
The project is a ₦15 million project for the Anambra-Imo River Basins Authority in the 2018 Federal Budget comprising of overhead tank and reticulation, and is confirmed to have been completed and functioning. But the residents of the area are not allowed access to it. Tracka therefore appealed to the relevant authorities to wade in and accord the residents the access to the source of water.
Dr Umeh is also the sponsor of the controversial ₦35 million Aguluzigbo Primary Healthcare Centre Project which Tracka had complained in March, that it is uncompleted, abandoned and under lock and key.
Dr Victor Umeh, of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, was elected into the Senate through a rerun election in January 2018. But he lost to Mrs Uche Ekwunife of the PDP in February 2019 Election after a legal battle that ended at the Appeal Court.
While conceding his defeat after the rulings of the Appeal Court, he said, “I was able to demonstrate what a honest representation can do for the people. I attracted and ensured that 40 Constituency Projects were executed in the District for the year 2018. I also attracted 28 Projects for the year 2019. I wished that I have more time to do much more!”
This ₦15million solar powered borehole is one of the 2018 projects. It is not clear if he is the one that oversaw its construction or it is Senator Ekwunife, going by how long it sometimes takes for a Constituency Project to be completed in many parts of Nigeria.
Many Nigerians have developed premonitions towards Constituency Projects as they allege that they are often used by members of the National Assembly as conduits for taking away from the Federal Government’s development finds for personal gains.