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Senate to probe abandoned projects in Nigeria

Screenshot 2023 07 11 at 6.56.17 PM

The Senate on Thursday constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the number of abandoned projects in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Sen.Jimoh Ibrahim (APC- Ondo)on the need to look into the 11, 856 mega projects abandoned by the Federal Government.

Presenting the motion, Ibrahim said that in 2011, former President Goodluck Jonathan set up a Presidential Committee on abandoned projects in Nigeria.

He said the committee visited the 36 states in Nigeria and identified 11,866 projects abandoned since Nigeria’s independence.

He said that the reports indicated that 63 per cent of the entire projects since independence were abandoned.

He said that even when a project was successfully delivered, it usually presented an overrun of about 40 per cent, with most delivered projects recording 10 per cent underperformance.

Ibrahim said that the 63 per cent of projects abandoned in Nigeria was worse than any country under comparison.

“The abandonment of the project is of significant concern because of project costs which constitute a significant part of the GDP. ”

He said what was key was need to look inward at the infrastructure development as Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) declined from 8.8billon dollars in 2011 to 3.3 billion dollars in 2019.

He said that government had the responsibility to set up a professional system that would deliver the critical value from major infrastructure development for its citizens .

He said that for 66 per cent projects to be abandoned since 1960 was nothing less than a calamity that reduced Nigeria”s pride as a ‘Giant of Africa.

He said that projects like the National Library, Lagos Badagry Express Road, Calabar Power Plant, Zungery Dam, Mambilla site, Otiukpo Dam, Nigeria Satellite, Nitel, Calabar sea Port, Abuja mass housing project to mention but few has remained abandoned till date.

He said project abandonment was a syndrome of national development particularly when it was centred on basic infrastructure as over 66 per cent of ghe government projects had been abandoned since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

In his contribution, Sen. Orji Kalu (APC -Abia) said Nigeria cannot industrialise without steel production.

“We should face steel production, If we don’t face it, we are wasting our time,if you check our debt repayment, it is coming on this project.

“Why would Nigeria be suffering on what ought to have been done? We are supposed to convert that our money and build these industries for debt repayment on them and save the the interest we pay.

“We should appeal to President Bola Tinubu, may be in 2026, 2027 budgets, we dedicate it to all these industries.

”They are our own. If we do not do it we will not move forward,” he said.

Sen. Isah Jibrin(APC -Kogi) said the abandoned projects should be properly profiled and the viable ones be sold to bring return on investment.

The Senate also in its resolution recommended appropriate actions to be taken to reduce project abandonment in Nigeria and how most of the projects can be recovered.

President of Senate Godswill Akpabio in his remarks urged the committee to turn in its report in one month.

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