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N2.97bn Worth Of Abandoned Projects Unaccounted For – Elemo



The executive director of Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI), a nongovernmental organisation, Olusegun Elemo, has said that several critical abandoned projects worth N2.97billion, have been unaccounted for in 14 states of the country.

He disclosed this during an accountability dialogue with the theme, “A Stakeholders’ Roundtable To Revisit 2016 Audit Findings Of The Federation”, held on Monday, October 15, in Abuja.

According to him, “Thirty priority projects spread across 14 states through five MDAs and captured in the 2016 Audit Report of the federation, worth N2.97billion are unaccounted for. This is indeed the reason the affected communities have continued in unfathomable anguish either for clean and portable water supply, education facilities, good and motorable roads, health equipment or functional earth dam to aid agriculture.

“While releases are made for capital projects every year, value derived from many of these projects do not equal public funds expended hence the persistent claims of marginalisation and total neglect by several rural communities of the country.”

He added, “Despite yearly audit of budget accounts by the Auditor-General, who submits report to Parliament, not a single recommendation has been issued by the legislature to the executive to correct any of the previous audit findings. This again is why public sector corruption has persisted for so long.”

The executive director, Centre for Social Justice, Dr Eze Onyekpere, who gave the keynote address said, the auditor-general’s office is supposed to provide the necessary raw materials for other anti-corruption agencies to act on.

“The auditor-general’s office, which is the foremost anti-corruption agency in Nigeria, is meant to provide the raw materials with which other anti-corruption agencies can lay charges against people who are violating Nigeria’s public financial management laws and rules.

“The audit, as a public trust, ensures that we minimise violations of regularities and noncompliance and where there are real violations, people are made to take responsibility.”

PLSI is a civic organisation working to promote citizens’ active participation in Nigerian public audit through its Value for Money advocacy project to foster public accountability, good governance and development of rural communities.