Reps halt N3.7bn ecological project

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By Okey Ndiribe & Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA—House of Representatives, yesterday, passed a resolution urging the suspension of work on the 17 ecological projects across the country worth over N3.7 billion.

In the motion sponsored by Sekonte Davis (PDP, Rivers State), the House resolved to direct the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Ministry of Environment and the Ecological Fund Office to suspend all action and re-advertise those projects in line with the Procurement Act of 2007.

It also mandated the  Committee on Environment to ensure compliance and evaluate the state of the environmental problems in line with the current realities and report back to the House in four weeks.

Projects
The projects include those located in Akwa-Ibom (N1.31 billion); Zamfara (N412 million); Lagos (N258.46 million); Gombe (N383.75 million); Borno (N289.76 million); Delta (N308.49 million).

Defending the motion earlier, Davis informed his colleagues that “17 Ecological Fund Office projects for which procurement processes started in 2006/2007 are still undergoing various processes of procurement as late as year 2012 contrary to provisions of the Procurement Act of 2007.”

He expressed sadness that “about six years after these projects were advertised, they are still awaiting ministerial approval.

Deficient
He said: “Some of these projects have recently found their way to the Office of the SGF and  Minister of Environment for signing preparatory for execution.

“These procurement processes have been time-barred, having been moribund for that number of years, because ecological problems are time-related and progress with changing years and weather.

“The projects, if allowed to commence now, would be deficient in current status of the extent of the ecological problems and will, therefore, add to the number of abandoned projects in the country.”

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