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Published On: Thu, Sep 18th, 2014

Contractor abandons multi-billion naira federal dam project in Katsina

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From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

A contractor has abandoned the multi-billion naira Ingawa-Dallaje Federal Government Dam project in Katsina state inspite of the collection of over 50 per cent down payment to handle the project which would cost the government N4.3 billion on completion.

A representative of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), who led a team of inspectors of federal government projects implementation and execution, Hajiya Mariam Iliyasu disclosed this in Gusau, Zamfara state capital yesterday.

Mariam informed that the project which comprised irrigation outlets, water treatment plant, road construction and electrification would benefit number of communities when completed.

She lamented that even though the contractor had already been paid 50 per cent of the contract funds, but he deserted the project site for over 2 years now and elongated the period of completion to six years without having completed it.

Mariam further disclosed that the federal government is willing to complete the payment over all satisfactorily completed projects, calling for the contractor to return and complete the project.

Meanwhile, on inspection visit to Federal Medical Center Gusau, the team noticed that there were some violations of the rules governing procurement measures which include failure of the hospital’s procurement office to conduct independent market surveys before seeking of tender thereby to ask for the government approval on contracts.

The FRC blamed the Federal Ministry of Finance for delays in the execution of federal government projects, saying, “Continuous violations of section 26 of the commission’s act 2007 by the Federal Ministry of Finance is one of the main factors responsible for non-completion of federal government projects across the nation.”

She said the act “directs the minister of finance to release approved funds for federal government project execution 30 days from the date appropriation bill is passed, but this is not done,” she lamented.

She said the situation had led to several non-completion or inefficient performance by contractors handling federal government projects and making it look as if the government is not discharging its responsibility to the public.

She stated that the commission will arrange an interface with the finance minister so as to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law.

The team was assigned to monitor all federal government projects in Kaduna, Zamfara and Katsina states in the North West zone.

 

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