Niger Assembly expresses worries over N2.9bn govt house renovation

197 views | Yakubu Bina | June 16, 2020

The Niger State House Committee on Works has expressed shock over the ongoing renovation of the government house, Minna to the tune of N1 billion after fencing that earlier cost N1.9 billion and not being handled by the Ministry of Works.

It, however, questioned the accountability and transparency of the state government.

Chairman of House Committee on Works and member representing Lavun constituency, Hon. Jubril Ndagi Baba, clarified yesterday during its session at the assembly complex in Minna.

The Committee berated the Commissioner of Works, Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim Panti and his Ministry’s team of incompetency in the handling of their mandate as the Ministry of Works and Infrastructural Development.

Assembly further accused the ministry of presenting discrepancy in documents before the committee who is in preparation for its oversight function of the ministry projects.

He lamented that the documents presented on some of the projects across the state are a world apart as if they are not from the same source.

During the discussions, the members of the committee who contributed stated that the explanations by the Commissioner and the Permanent Secretary indicated that the documents were forged just like the Commissioner said he disagreed with what is on the documents presented to the house.

It indicated that no fewer than three (3) conflicting documents on the same matter were presented before the house and still does not contain the information required for the oversight function by the committee.

The Lawmaker while addressing the team led by the Commissioner expressed disappointment noted that it took the ministry over a month to present the documents and still have issues on the papers adding that “This only shows sign of incompetence and it’s an indication that there would be issues on the projects.”

The committee noted that they are not out to witch hunt anybody but only doing what they are elected to do as people’s representatives adding that “government houses are being renovated with taxpayers’ money and people must know what is going on with the project and how their money is being spent.”

The committee further frowned at the poor handling of the Minna-Lambata road by the ministry saying the poorly constructed road had made the state lose a huge sum of money spent on the road to the federal government.

Responding, the Commissioner, however, admitted that the documents before the committee were not correct and up to date to be presented to the house for scrutiny.

He, therefore, pleaded for more time to put their house in order as a ministry as he doesn’t have confidence in the document before the committee.

The team is expected back in the House on Thursday this week for the continuation of explanation on the projects of the ministry.

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