N/Delta ministry completed 12 out of 147 projects in 6yrs —Audit committee

• Says ministry needs N230bn to complete projects

The technical audit committee on projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has said that 12 projects out of 427 projects in the region have been completed  between 2009  and  2015.

The report also revealed that about N700 billion was budgeted for projects in the region from 2009 to 2015” but only 60 per cent of the fund was accessed.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru, while receiving the report from the committee, noted that the report was not to probe or witch hunt anyone, but to serve as a working tool for the ministry.

“We have discovered that the committee found N700 billion as total amount budgeted for projects from 2009 to 2015, out of this amount, 60 per cent has been disbursed and the number of projects awarded from 2009 to 2015, is 427 projects completed from 2009 to 2015 amount to 12 per cent, while 18 per cent remains stalled and 70 per cent are said to be ongoing.

“The sectoral cumulative cost of projects is as follows: training, 0.87 per cent; consultancy, 2.13 per cent; food and cassava processing plant, 0.81 per  cent; canalisation, 0.86 per cent, electrification, 0.34 per cent and road construction 87.1 per cent.

“Land reclamation and shore land protection, 2.05 per cent; housing scheme, 1.05 per cent; conservation and development of coastal ecosystem, 0.03 per cent; skills acquisition centres, 4.39 per cent; water scheme, 0.32 per cent; rehabilitation of oil impacted site, 0.16 per cent.”

The minister said that the highlights of the sectoral expenditure indicated  that some areas that should really have critical impact have been downplayed, adding that the document will assist the ministry in the adjustment of its sectoral proposals for further budgeting.

“In terms of state beneficiaries, Rivers State, 43 per cent; Ondo State,  4 per cent; Imo State, 6 per cent; Edo  State, 2 per cent; Delta State, 26 per cent; Cross River State, 2 per cent; Akwa Ibom  State, 7 per cent and Abia  State, 7 per cent”.

Earlier, the chairman of the committee,  Mr Yerima Bulama, had  said the ministry, since its inception, had paid N414 billion for projects and required about N230 billion to complete its payments.

“Since the ministry was set up, about N700 billion worth of projects were spent, out of  which about N414 billion has been paid, while there is an outstanding unpaid balance which require about N230 billion to complete the project.”

Speaking further on the observation of the committee, Bulama said “about 90 per cent of the project are right now, uncompleted and they are  at various stages of completion, there are projects we found out that there is no basis for them to continue.