FG attributes procurement procedure, low revenue to delay in project execution

MINISTER OF Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has said that the 2017 and subsequent budgets will not be complete without the input of the Federal Character Commission. The minister, who said this to underscore the importance of the commission, stressed that lopsidedness in the sitting of crucial infrastructure and its consequent restiveness and national discord, particularly taking cognisance of the peculiar nature of the country, were avoidable had the input of the commission been sought. “I did not realise that the spread
of infrastructure was crucial in sustaining national security and unity,” said Senator Udoma when the leadership of the commission paid him a courtesy call. Accordingly, he told the acting executive chairman of the commission and his team that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning would endeavour to seek the input of the commission in subsequent budgets starting the 2017. “We shall work with you and we shall look at the spread of infrastructural plan and ensure that it captures national spread and perhaps capture every state because that is the intention of the federal government to ensure that security and national unity and economic development are achieved. “The Lagos-Kano and the Calabar-Lagos rail line projects are meant to ensure that Nigerians can travel from any part of the country whether by air or on land with relative ease. We want to grow agriculture but without good roads you cannot convey produce to other parts and we also need power to facilitate production,” he said. Earlier, Dr Shettima Bukar had told the minister that the commission was working on its second mandate- ensuring the provision of spread of infrastructure to ensure every
zone was well captured and to prevent undue lopsidedness in the allocation of necessary projects across the country. He announced that the commission has set six committees to study the allocation of key projects in the six geo-political zones, adding that the findings would be communicated to the federal government so that subsequent allocation of projects would show federal character. According to him, fair allocation of projects was crucial to the attainment of national peace and security and therefore appealed to the ministry of budget and national planning to work with the commission to achieve this.