Senate considers bill to compel federal, state govts to complete abandoned projects | Ripples Nigeria
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Senate considers bill to compel federal, state govts to complete abandoned projects

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PIB passes first reading in Senate

A piece of legislation seeking to make it unlawful for the government of the federation and states to have abandoned projects in any part of Nigeria scaled second reading at the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau, representing Kano North federal constituency under the All Progressive Congress (APC) was titled “Compulsory Development Planning and Project Continuity Bill, 2021”.

Barau in his lead debate said the bill seeks to make development planning compulsory for all tiers of government.

According to him, it seeks to make provisions for each of the governments of the Federation to establish and maintain project implementation plans for projects within their jurisdiction from inception to conclusion.

The lawmaker argued that the non-completion of projects and lack of continuity in government programmes and policies were largely responsible for the country’s lagging economic and infrastructural development.

His words, “Mr. President, my respected Colleagues, all over the world, government is a continuum.

“Ideally, once the baton of leadership of a nation is handed over to a new government, the onus lies on it to embrace the projects, policies, and programmes of the previous administration without recourse to any personal, party, or primordial interests.

“However, one major identifiable draw-backs to social, economic and infrastructural development in Nigeria is lack of continuity of policies and programmes of government at the Federal, State and Local Government.

“State resources are poorly managed as some political leaders often embark on white elephant projects that cannot endure the test of time at the twilight of their tenures.

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“This unfortunate tradition has badly characterized governance and induced corruption since 1999.”

He maintained that as of June 2011, the Presidential Projects Assessment committee led by Architect Ibrahim Bunu, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, had reported that there are 11,886 abandoned federal and state government projects across Nigeria which require N7.78 trillion to complete.

He noted that the committee revealed that political and personal considerations outweighed the national interest in the award of contracts, as a majority of the contracts were procurement-driven rather than development-driven.

“With this ugly political trend and worrisome disposition of some politicians, the nation is utterly consigned to retrogression if not urgently checked.

‘This Bill provides a sure remedy to the lack of a seamless developmental plan for the nation.

“It rises above primordial sentiments and stands to quarantine any regional neglect or political vendetta.

“The proposed Bill professes enduring legacies and showcases excellent promises to Nigerians.”

The bill which was exhaustively debated was unanimously supported by lawmakers in their separate contributions.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs for further legislative work.

Meanwhile, Lawan gave the Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi-led Committee, four weeks to report back to the Senate.

By Victor Uzoho…

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