Transparency groups have hailed a move to enable closer scrutiny of public projects in Nigeria, but whether their enthusiasm will be shared by those with vested interests is a moot point

When Onumonu Nonye visited the new laboratory at Ubahuekwuem technical school, she hoped to see busy students surrounded by books and science equipment. Instead, the building stood empty, bereft of desks, doors and even windows. The renovation of the college, in Ihiala, south-east Nigeria, had been abandoned.

Students were heartbroken that their new classrooms had been left unfinished. So too was the headteacher, who was shocked when Nonye told him the company responsible had been paid 25,000,000 naira (£52,601) to complete the work. “They weren’t happy at all,” says Nonye, who works as a procurement monitor for the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), a civil society group that campaigns for greater transparency about public spending.

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