FEC to review old projects requiring more funding

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday stepped down memoranda for some major projects requiring additional funding.

Most of the projects concerned are under the Federal Ministry of Works, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris told State House Correspondents after the Council meeting on Wednesday.

Idris said the projects were inherited from past administrations from at least 13 years ago and, therefore, required augmentation.

Before additional funding, however, President Bola Tinubu has directed a thorough examination of the projects to ensure probity, proficiency, and diligence in their execution, explained Idris.

The outcome of the review will be discussed at the next FEC meeting.

He also disclosed that the Council directed the Minister of Works, David Umahi, to work with the Ministers of Budget and Economic Planning and the Minister of Finance to streamline all projects contained in the memoranda for appropriate funding intervention.

“So today, we didn’t have so many projects that were approved as a result of that, but of note is to say that Mr. President, in line with his thinking of ensuring that there is probity, proficiency, and diligence in project execution, has directed that all projects that require additional funding, especially major projects of the Ministry of Works, be looked at once again, so that there will be further deliberation on that at the next council meeting,” he said.

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Responding to queries, Idris clarified that the Lagos-Calabar Highway and other newly approved roads by the administration of President Tinubu are not included in this review.

However, he said the Council is ready to reconsider and re-prioritise most of the inherited projects under the Ministry of Works while it sources for alternative funding and re-evaluates those that can be completed.

“Those projects that were required to be stepped down are part of inherited projects from 13 years ago some of them were inherited from past administrations and they are now been streamlined and worked out to ensure they are completed installmentally the Lagos-Calabar Highway is not suffering budget augmentation.

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“Most of the projects are those carried over due to variation and the Council has decided to ensure that all the projects should be stepped down they will not be thrown away but will be reconsidered and re-prioritised and the government will source for funding for the projects and the government will look at those that can be completed,” Idris explained.

He clarified that fund shortage is not the only reason the projects were stepped down saying, “Not only because of funding but other variables are being considered, it’s not an abandonment and augmentation and review are not for new projects all new projects awarded do not have augmentation now Lagos Calabar is new and does not have issues or need for augment or review.”

Meanwhile, the Council has resolved to revamp the National Council on Procurement, which has been ineffective for the past 17 years.

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The information minister said a bill to strengthen the Council has been sent to the National Assembly and has passed its first reading in the House of Representatives.

This is to establish a robust procurement council that will enforce financial discipline and scrutinise all aspects of procurement, aligning with the administration’s vision.

“There is also a discussion around the National Council on Procurement. The Federal Executive Council is looking at that again. Recall that in the last 17 years, the National Council on Procurement has not been very effective.

“So Mr. President has submitted to the National Assembly a bill, which has scaled through the first reading at the House of Representatives.

“The whole idea is to ensure that we have a robust National Council on Procurement that will continue to look at all aspects of procurement, in line with the vision and to bring every project into the financial discipline that Mr. President is always talking about,” Idris explained.

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