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Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

Why we have abandoned projects

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Director General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogwu on Tuesday told the members of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee that the inability of most of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to coordinate their fiscal activities in order to ensure continuity was responsible for the spate of abandoned projects across the country.

Okogwu, while responding to queries on the proliferation of abandoned projects across the country from members of the House committee chaired Rep John Eno, said most MDAs award new contracts even when certain projects under implementation in the previous fiscal year(s) were yet to be completed.

The Budget Office executive said his office had severally counseled the MDAs to complete and exit on-going projects before awarding fresh ones.

He also told the committee that some of the MDAs ignore expert advice that due process procedures expected to commence before the actual passage of the budget are left undone only to begin to run against time when the budget is eventually passed.

Okogwu who presented his budget before the committee also took time to explain the justification for the existence of the most criticized Service-Wide Votes and the Capital Supplementation budget being managed by the Finance Ministry.

According to him, “the service-wide vote and the supplementation budget is the standard practice all over the world. Monies domiciled in these subheads are meant for budget shortfall in all the MDAs.”

According to him, the funds domiciled in the Service-Wide votes are used to settle pensions which are mostly not captured in the budget.

He added that certain organizations owned by the government, including the Galaxy Backbone, as well as certain international financial obligations the nation entered into are being financed from the votes.

He disclosed that the 2014 Service p-wide votes would take care of the Presidential Amnesty, pension obligations, operation of the Armed Forces, logistics for general elections, external finance obligations, wages adjustments, President contingencies, Federal Initiative for the North Eastern region amongst others.

Okogwu however told the committee that his office budget attained 69 percent in the 2013 fiscal year.

 

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