THE Senate said yesterday that about N7.8 trillion was needed to complete projects abandoned by the federal and state governments. Similarly, the Upper Legislative Chamber noted that 11,886 projects have also been abandoned.
Although it did not give the period when the said projects were abandoned, the Senate said such action was wrong and re- solved to take drastic action to stop the trend. The lawmakers are seeking a task force to monitor projects and punish contractors who failed to deliver.
This revelation was contained in a motion, “Abandonment of Projects: A Menace to De- velopment in Nigeria”. It was sponsored by Senator Suleiman Nazif. He spoke of public infra- structure account for most of the abandoned projects and that the said projects were awarded to friends who are incompetent to handle them.
He blamed the practice on inconsistency of government policies and wondered why new governments were fond of abandoning old projects when they come in to office.
He said: “Previous governments embarked on weekly charade of awarding new contracts or re-awarded old ones at higher prices during its weekly Federal Executive Council ( FEC) meetings. The desire for ego credit taking, rather than genuine service delivery was behind the drive for new projects and abandoning of old ones.
After a debate on the issues raised in the motion, the Sen- ate urged the government to set up a project performance and monitoring task force to severely punish contractors who collect mobilisation funds and disappear.
The lawmakers said the move would help check unbridled wastage and corruption in abandoned projects and by extension, serve as a deterrent to others.
While commending Senator Nazif for the motion, Senate President Bukola Saraki deviated. Rather, he spoke on the on- going arms deal scam involving top government official who served in the Jonathan administration.