The Senate has rejected the capital budget of the Ministry of Niger Delta worth N23 billion in the year 2020 due to uncompleted projects littered all over the nine states of the region.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, who disclosed when the Minister, God’swill Akpabio appeared before the committee to defend the ministry’s budget of N25.9 billion, said the ministry is to reappear before the Committee on Monday, Oct. 28.
Nwaboshi said that with the oversight function carried out in the ministry, it was realized that the bane of the ministry was abandoned projects littered all over the nine Niger Delta states.
He said, “There is no state, I dare to say that there is no local government where there is no abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.
We cannot continue like that. With all the abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and we are talking about new projects; these new projects are designed to fail.
“Honourable minister, we need to look at this budget again and we expect you to do your cleanup because the document we needed were not supplied to us.”
Another lawmaker, Senator Sandy Ojang of Cross River) said, “We just looked at the presentation and we are faced again with the vanity of having a budget and almost through the budget year, there are no capital release.
“It calls for concern and deep worry. A budget situation where the capital outlay is even lower than personnel and other cost is problem.”
Meanwhile, fthe senate had promised Nigerian to scrutinized the 2020 budget. For instance, the former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu had advised lawmakers to fashion out a good budget that would grow the economy.
He said, “The president has done his job,” he said but added: “It is left for us to subject the budget to legislative scrutiny. We can’t blame the president if we fail to subject the budget to scrutiny.”
He further expressed disappointment that at a time the nation is seeking ways of diversifying its economy, the budget failed to place ample emphasis on solid mineral development.