Officials of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC, have commenced monitoring of Federal Government projects being executed in the North East.
The Leader of North East Monitoring Team, Ibrahim Baba, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday that the exercise was meant to verify execution of projects captured in the budget and to assess the level of work.
Members of the commission visited the Kiri Dam New Canal project site in Shelleng Local Government Area of Adamawa.
“We want to see what is the allocation by Federal Government and releases made; we want to see the implementation of those allocations; whether there are value for government,” Mr. Baba said.
He explained that apart from Kiri Dam, the team visited Yola Irrigation project site in Gerio, Yola North Local Government Area.
“We will also visit Kashimbila Dam in Taraba State, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Borno State as well as the Damaturu to Azare Express Way in Yobe and Bauchi States”, Baba said.
Addressing the team at Kiri Dam, the Managing Director of Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority, Abubakar Mua’zu, said work on the N800 million new canal awarded in 2011 had been abandoned by the contractor.
He said that the contractor, who was given 15 per cent payment, abandoned the job after executing 11 per cent of the job.
Mr. Mua’zu lamented the under-utilisation of the dam’s hydro and irrigation potential,
He said that for now, the construction of a new canal was not a priority as the existing canal channelling water to Savannah Sugar Company was not maximally utilised.
Mr. Mua’zu said that what the dam needed now was funding for its safety, maintenance and maximum utilisation to generate more revenue for government.
He said that the dam was constructed in 1982 for irrigation of 12,000 sugar plantation and had the capacity to generate 20 megawatts hydro power.
Mr. Mua’zu said that at present, the dam is generating only N60 million annually by selling irrigation water to Savannah Sugar Company at the cost 50 kobo per cubic metre, an amount he said needed to be reviewed upward.