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Reps reject Niger Delta Ministry’s 2018 Budget

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 12/01/2018

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•Niger Delta Affairs Minister Usani Usani
•Niger Delta Affairs Minister Usani Usani

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has turned down the budget defense of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Chairman of the House Committee, Honourable Ayi Ekpeyong, in a prepared speech said on Thursday that the committee decided to refuse the Ministry’s budget defense because of the failure to respond to request of the committee request on “uncompleted projects”.

Specifically, the committee frowned at the attitude of the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Usani Usani, over his failure to respond to correspondences from the committee on activities of the ministry.

In his speech, Honourable Ekpeyong said: “In reviewing the budget, the committee is not unmindful of the Federal Government thrust towards ensuring that a greater percentage of the budget is dedicated to capital project. The committee is interested in the completion of all capital projects and programmes already in existence.”

To this end, he said that “during the oversight visit to the Niger Delta region, the committee saw very many uncompleted projects littering the whole place. Most of the uncompleted projects belong to the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

“Some of the projects though budgeted for in 2015 and 2016, yet the ministry deliberately refused to release funds to the contractors for reasons best known to the ministry.

“This committee seriously frowns at the attitude of the Hon. Minister towards the committee. On Tuesday July 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed a resolution mandating all standing committees to request all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs under their supervision to supply information on all moveable assets in their ministries for the purpose of verification.

“The committee wrote to the ministry dated July 26, 2017 ref: NASS/8HR/CT.069/190, this letter was ignored by the minister and up till now, we have not gotten the reply to the letter not to talk of supplying the needed information.

“Again, on February 22, 2017, a letter ref: NASS/8HR/CT.069/183 was sent to the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs requesting for the number of houses built in each state of the Niger Delta indicating unit cost, location and stages of completion. If they have been completed and allocated, he should state the beneficiaries and qualifications of the beneficiaries. The ministry refused to provide the needed information

“A reminder to this letter was sent via a letter dated May 17, 2017 ref: NASS/8HR/CT.069/185, again it was ignored by the ministry.”

Source News Express

Posted 12/01/2018 11:41:59 AM

 

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