Over N8bn Wasted on Unexecuted Projects in Katsina, Taraba, Others

Tracka, BudgIt’s public expenditure tracking platform, has uncovered how N8.6 billion was paid to ‘no-show contractors’ in the 2022 federal government budget.

A press statement on Wednesday by BudgIT signed by the Head, Tracka, Ayomide Ladipo revealed that the contractors were allegedly paid for projects that were either not executed or were poorly executed.

“We uncovered N8.6bn payments to 26 ‘No-Show Contractors’ for 19 projects across nine states in the FG 2022 Budget. Nothing has been done on the site to date,” Tracka said on Wednesday.

In Northern states, some of these unexecuted projects include N542m payment to Abu-Halawa International Limited between December 2020 & April 2023 under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the Construction of Jare Earth Dam in Katsina.

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According to Tracka, Taraba had the highest rate of abandoned projects at 27% while Kebbi had the highest completion rate at 76%.

Regarding Constituency Projects, Bauchi had the highest completion rate with 97%, while Nasarawa, with 23%, had the highest rate of abandoned projects.

“These and other payments for non-executed projects were uncovered in the 2022 Project Tracking Report themed “Empowering Communities for Economic Growth.”

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“Under Capital Projects, Kebbi had the highest completion rate at 76%, Oyo had the lowest at 25%, and Taraba had the highest rate of abandoned projects at 27%. Regarding Constituency Projects, Bauchi had the highest completion rate with 97%, Oyo had the lowest with 28%, while Nasarawa, with 23%, had the highest rate of abandoned projects.

Some of the projects identified by the platform in the South include the payment of N630 million to Babar Global Services Nigeria Ltd and Foundation Solid (NIG) LTD for the Construction of the Ogbese Multi-Purpose Dam Project, Ekiti.

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The report reviews Tracka’s work and documents findings from the 3,691 projects monitored across 22 states in Nigeria between August 2022 and August 2023. Of these projects, 2,037 were completed, 1,012 are ongoing, 533 were unexecuted.

Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s Country Director, expressed dismay over contractors’ failure to execute the projects.

He said “Despite the clamor for increased allocations to capital expenditure by FG and subnationals, our tracking exercise has revealed that capital projects are the largest conduits of embezzlement and misappropriation.

He said lack of effective oversight on the part of the legislators and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies has largely contributed to the high level of poor project execution and, in some cases, outright abandonment of projects.

Gabriel called on the anti-graft agencies to question and probe the misappropriations and prosecute erring contractors.

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