20 June 2011
A presidential panel set up to look into cases of abandoned federal government projects recently submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Presidential Projects Assessment Committee (PPAC) was set up in March last year with terms of reference that include taking inventory of all ongoing federal projects and determine whether the contracts for them were in compliance with due process; determining the status and assessing the level of execution of each project, including the amount spent and the amount outstanding; determining the constraints militating against the execution of each project and making recommendations to accelerate its completion.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the Nigerian landscape is littered with abandoned projects, ranging from grains silos to independent power.
The PPAC identified 11,886 of such ongoing or abandoned federal government projects all over the country. If projects initiated and then abandoned by state governments were to be added to this list, the figure would be considerably much higher. The reasons for this sad state of affairs are many, the most immediate being insufficient planning for the projects. Then there is the factor of inadequate budgetary provision to sustain them.
Moreover delays in funding, sometimes deliberately done to increase the mark-up fees for corrupt officials, add to the costs of executing, causing frequent reviews on the original contract terms. The idea of completing projects on time and within budget has become alien to contractors and officials alike.