House Orders Investigation into Abandoned Projects

  •  Says contractors owed N5.1tn
  • Ask security agencies to dislodge kidnappers in Lagos, Bauchi

James Emejo in Abuja

The House of Representatives wednesday passed a resolution mandating the Committees on Finance and National Planning and Economic Development to investigate the number and location of on-going and abandoned critical federal government capital projects across the country.

The House is also interested in ascertaining the amount committed, paid and outstanding to date on all on-going and abandoned projects in the country.

The committees have eight weeks to report back within for further legislative action.
The House also urged the Inspector General of Police to spare no effort towards the rescue of the kidnapped students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe as soon as possible and put necessary measures to prevent reoccurrence.

It further mandated the Committees on Basic Education and Services, Police Affairs and Navy to pay a commiseration visit to the Lagos State Government and conduct an investigation into the state of insecurity in the riverine communities, waterways and schools in Lagos State and make recommendations on ways to permanently arrest the scourge of militancy and kidnapping in the state.

The lawmakers similarly passed a motion calling on the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police and the Commandant-General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to deploy security personnel to flush out bandits including kidnappers hiding in the Balmo forest in Bauchi State.

Nevertheless, the House resolution followed a motion by Hon. Babangida Ibrahim on the need to determine the status of ongoing and abandoned federal government projects.

Ibrahim had noted that the implementation of capital budgets annually had never reached an average of 50 per cent in the past 17 years, resulting in proliferation of uncompleted projects all over the country.

The House noted that as at May 2011, there were over 11,886 on-going projects that required over N10 trillion and over 10 years to complete even if an average sum of₦1 trillion is provided annually to fund the projects.

It noted that the out of the total commitment of ₦7.8 trillion for the 11,886 on – going projects, only ₦2.7 trillion was paid to contractors, leaving an outstanding commitment of ₦5.1 trillion as at May 2011.

The lawmakers held that the alarming infrastructure gap in the country over the past 17 years was characterised by poor and dilapidated road network, epileptic power supply, a virtually moribund railway system, airports and require rehabilitation and dilapidated structures in the education and health sectors.

The resolution on the lawmakers on kidnappers in Lagos
was consequent upon a motion by Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji on the spate of kidnapping in Lagos State and the recent abduction of six Students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe.

The House, however, commended the Lagos State Police Command for its swift response to the incident.
However, in the motion sponsored by both Hon. Yuguda Hassan Kila and Hon. Halliru Dauda Jika, the lawmakers noted that the forest was fast becoming a den of kidnapers where innocent people are seized, tortured and sometimes killed even after the payment of ransom, actions that are threatening the hitherto peaceful environment in the areas.
The House, therefore, expressed the need to prevent Balmo forest from being turned into another haven for criminals and remnants of the Boko Haram sect who have been routed and dislodged from Sambisa forest by the military.

It further urged the Chief of Army Staff to establish an operational unit for quick response to emergency situations in the area as well as mandated the Committees on National Security and Intelligence, Defence, Police Affairs, Army, and Interior to ensure implementation.