Nigeria will require N7.78 trillion to complete abandoned 11,886 projects nationwide, the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee said, political and personal considerations outweighed the national interest in the award of contracts.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senator (APC- Kano), representing Jibrin Barau made the submission while seeking a bill at the Upper Legislative Chamber to criminalise uncompleted works.
The bill, ‘Compulsory Development Planning and Project Continuity Bill,’ seeks to make it unlawful for governments at all levels to have abandoned projects in Nigeria on Wednesday passed second reading in the Senate at plenary.
The sponsor of the bill, sought to make provisions for State governments to establish and ensure implementation plans for projects within their jurisdiction from inception to conclusion.
According to him, the legislator said the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee reported 11,886 abandoned federal and state government projects across Nigeria, which require N7.78 trillion to complete.
He added that the abandoned projects and lack of continuity in government programmes and policies were largely responsible for Nigeria’s limited economic and infrastructural development.
“Majority of the contracts the committee said 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,” explained Mr Barau.
“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 governments at the federal, state, and local levels.
“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.
“This unfortunate tradition has badly characterised governance and induced corruption since 1999,” said Mr Barau.
NAN said the President of Senate Ahmad Lawan thereafter referred the bill to the Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs for further legislative work.