BY SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja
The Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development has disagreed with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing over differential in the release of funds and implementation of the 2016 budget in the sectors.
The Senate committee claimed the ministers of finance and that of budget planning had told the Senate recently that funds for the budget performance in the ministry were released up to 80% to achieve maximal performance.
But when the Senate committee visited the ministry for oversight function yesterday, the Director of finance and accounts, Ibrahim Tumsah while presenting the report on the 2016 budget performance insisted that only 40% implementation was achieved.
The committee said it is conflicting and quite questionable for the ministry and budget planning office to hold different positions on the funding and performance of appropriation in relevant sectors.
The Senate also disagreed with the figures of the funds released for the ministry on budget implementation and directed it to urgently approach the ministries of finance and budget planning to furnish it with accurate finacial information to breach the differential.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade (Venue North East) during an interaction with the minister of state 2 for power, works and housing, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, the permanent secratry and directors in the ministry observed that the nation is in dire need of improved level of housing delivery and that new policies of implementation were definitely required to enhance it.
According to Gemade, the Senate committee had made several visits to agencies under the ministry including the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and discovered that more is needed to highly support the housing, works and power sectors to achieve expectedly.
The minister of state 2, Zarma however, noted that the show of commitment from the lawmakers to ensuring proper implementation budget in the sectors would foster rapid infrastructural development in the country.