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Reps probe abandoned N470bn FCT projects


FROM  IHEANACHO NWOSU, ABUJA
The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory ((FCT ) is investigating the abandonment of roads and other capital projects worth over N470billion.The projects are those initiated between 2010 and last year.  The projects which include roads, water, health, transportation  are yet to be  completed, and in some instances, yet to even commence. Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Emmanuel Ji‎me (APC-Benue) disclosed this yesterday  in Abuja. Jime, who blamed the abandonment of the projects on  poor releases from the Budget Office for projects in the federal capital.
He regretted that the situation was leading to the dilapidating infrastructure in Abuja. Jime sad: “‎The committee has observed that the ONEX and OSEX road projects are still on-going. How-ever, we are made to understand that these critical roads should have been completed in 2013. We believe FCTA should channel adequate resources towards completion of those roads. “It’s unfortunate that we are learning that over N470billion is still required, after several budget years to complete some of these projects. So what to ask is, where is the money from the budget passed since 2008 for these projects”.
He said the committee had through its oversight since 2011, noted the sad decline in Federal Government’s attention to the FCT. “The committee notes that the notional priority budget of the FCT had been shrinking at alarming rate. In 2008, it was N19billion, in 2013 N55billion. But this year, a paltry N30billion has been appropriated”, he said. The lawmaker lamented  that despite huge allocations to the Cultural Centre and Millenium Tower, only 28 per cent of the project is completed. Jime also gave a disappointing verdict on the health sector in the FCT.
He said: “We had been to Utako General Hospital and upon inspection, noticed defects in architectural design of the building. One of the members, raised a query and today, part of the building has collapsed, with billions of naira going down the drain”. According to him, only N1billion is allocated to the rail project in Abuja, which is supposed to gulp a N9billion counterpart funding yearly.
The committee also regretted that waterworks in Abuja which were to be completed in 2012, were still at foundational level, while roads and other projects remained in dismal conditions. The chairman urged the Ministry of Finance to release immediately $523million being part of government counterpart funding for the light rail project in the FCT.

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