OrderPaper Nigeria has announced the release of the ConsTrack mobile application, a user friendly and innovative tool for citizens to engage elected representatives on constituency projects across the country.
According to Titilope Fadare, Programme Assistant, ConsTrack, the app, which is available for download on both Google Play Store and Apple Store, "empowers citizens to track the implementation of constituency projects and it comes loaded with verified and validated information on the location of the projects, amount appropriated, level of funding provided the implementing ministry, department or agency, status of implementation and the profiles of the legislators concerned.
“With the knowledge and understanding provided by the app and the ensuing engagements, citizens are able to ask the right questions and know how our commonwealth is being expended by government in the name of constituency projects.”
Putting the annual budget allocation by the Federal Government for constituency projects of members of the National Assembly at "at least N100 billion," Fadare stated that “State Governments also allocate billions annually for these projects under the aegis of members of the state assemblies. However, the constituency projects’ scheme has been entangled in reports of corruption, opacity and non-inclusion in terms of implementation.
“A defining feature of the app is that it allows citizens to track and directly report their findings on the projects either by text, audio or videos with their mobile devices, in the comfort of their neighbourhoods, communities and constituencies. These independent citizens’ reports invariably ignite a chain of updates, reactions and counter reactions from various stakeholders in a continuous stream of engagements.
“The ConsTrack app is importantly also a veritable platform for legislators to tell their success on constituency projects in order to provide a balanced narrative and healthy interface between citizens and their elected representatives in parliament.”
The ConsTrack app is aimed at addressing the controversy that relates to constituency projects to ensure that there are policy reforms along the lines of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
According to Fadare, “the release of the app is a culmination of various levels of multi-stakeholder consultations and validation exercises that have spanned over a year. Actors and stakeholders that have been involved in the consultations include legislators in the National and State Assemblies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), the media, software and IT experts, development practitioners, among others.
“The ConsTrack project is designed and implemented by OrderPaper Nigeria, the country’s authentic citizens-parliament multi-platform interface, and with support from USAID under the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project.”