By Tordue Salem – Abuja
The House of Representatives, Tuesday set up an enquiry into allegations that the Federal government, abandoned capital projects across states of the federation, worth N230billion.
Chairman of an ad hoc Committee, investigated the allegation, Rep. Ademorin Kuye(APC-Lagos), made the claim, after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, declared a public hearing on the matter open, on Tuesday.
Mr. Kuye said the Committee was within its constitutional rights to probe the matter and expose corruption and waste.
“This exercise, which is being made pursuant to Sections 88 & 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to wit: power to conduct investigations (expose corruption and waste) is also in response to the 9th Assembly Legislative Agenda on Economic Reform, as articulated in Article 1.02 (vii), the general principle which states to wit “the House shall…Take necessary legislative steps to address national economic challenges, poverty, Infrastructure decline, mute of resources, revenue leakage and corruption.
Considering the present global economic challenge. which is further accentuated by the effect of the pervasive COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the nation’s mono-product economic reliance on oil, this Ad Hoc Committee will leverage the thin rare opportunity to serve as a watershed to cushion the harsh economic realities by sourcing the most needed funds by consciously ascertaining the existence. place and use at such Federal Government properties across the country with a view to facilitating reinvestment end maximization at their use”, he stated.
According to him, “it is on record that some of the properties are currently being used by individuals and corporate bodies without remitting any revenue while their managers in name rear instances have not accounted tor the revenue yield. According to a conservative estimate put together by the Nigerian Society of Builders, the value at these Federal Government abandoned properties in Lagos, Ibadan. Enugu. Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna and other cities are projected at about Two Hundred and Thirty Billion Naira(2308iilion) ”
The lawmaker in his speech stated that”Experts say the potential economic loss at the National Stadium, Suruiere alone between 2004 and now is about N52.6b. The NET building alone could fetch 161 year rent. in fact, it is estimated that One hundred and twenty-six billion (N126b) have been lost in rent between 2006 to date.
Available facts also reveal that in addition to those properties, which were hurriedly abandoned due to the Federal Government’s relocation to PCT in 1990, there are still in existence many other properties, such as buildings, vehicles, machines e.t.c, which are littered within and outside the country. in addition to those earlier highlighted above, as a result of the commercialization and privatization exercise of the Federal Government”.
He said, “the Ad-Hoc Committee will take into consideration the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended, the 9th House Standing Orders and its Agenda as well as other extant laws including but not limited to Public Procurement Act 2007, Infrastructural Regulatory and Concession Act, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Independent Corrupt Practices Act, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the Code of Conduct Bureau AOL the PUbliC Service Rules, the Privatization and Commercialization Act as well as the relevant annual ApprOpriations Acts”.
He assured that the Committee will, despite challenges conduct a thorough probe and ensure the culprits are punished.
He assured that the Committees will carry out the task “without fear of intimidation, in the bid to efficiently discharge this assignment for efficient national service delivery and economic development, in the interest of the greater majority of the Nigeria people and for posterity”.