13 February 2013

Nigeria: Plateau Assembly Says 2012 Budget Performance 'Very Poor'

Photo: Vanguard
Budget 2013

The Plateau House of Assembly on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the implementation of 2012 budget, describing it as "very poor".

Mr Ponmak Rindap, Chairman of the assembly's Committee on Works, told newsmen in Jos that the general performance, especially from the ministry of works, was "abysmally poor in 2012 despite an appropriation of N7.1".

Rindap, who spoke shortly after the ministry defended its proposals for the 2013 fiscal year, attributed the ministry's performance to the "non release of the appropriated funds to do its work".

He said N7.1 billion was approved for the ministry for completion of on-going road projects in the 2012 budget, but they remained undone.

"The budget performance last year was just absolutely poor," he declared.

Rindap said no new roads had been awarded in the past five years "even though there were appropriations and releases for the completion of on-going road works".

"There has been no new project in the works sector; we met on-going projects which have not been completed up to now as I am talking to you.

"So, budget performance is far below expectation, but we expect more releases from the government this year."

He urged the ministry to be sensitive to the plight of road users, especially in the rural communities, and advised government to ensure prompt release of appropriated funds to relevant ministries and departments.

The law maker said part of the requirements for budget defence included proofs that projects were actually executed and advised that more funds should released to contractors.

"It is our desire that by the end of 2013, all road projects will be completed," he said.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Chris Hassan, also told newsmen that contractors had been directed to immediately mobilise to site, to complete all on-going road construction before the end of March.

He lamented that some of the projects were awarded in 2008 and that their period of completion had elapsed.

Hassan also disclosed that the State Executive Council, in 2012, approved the award of 12 new road contracts which had been captured in its 2013 appropriation.

"Already, the work agreements have been signed between the government and the companies expected to carry out the jobs," he said. (NAN)

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