Lack of funds stalls Nigeria’s erosion projects – Official

Erosion
An Erosion site

“Our target was to commission at least 90 projects out of the 157 projects but we did not start early.”

Only 50 per cent of the erosion projects awarded in 2013 were completed due to the lack of funds, an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment said on Thursday.

The official, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on condition of anonymity in Abuja, said that the funds released were inadequate to execute the projects awarded. He said that the ministry completed a few projects, without giving the exact number.

NAN learnt that the ministry awarded 157 erosion and flood control projects across the country during the period under review, to address various environmental degradation challenges. The 157 projects were the capital projects of the ministry which had budgetary allocation, while other category of projects were executed under the Ecological Fund.

“Our target was to commission at least 90 projects out of the 157 projects but we did not start early; only the few projects executed are now ready for commissioning.

“Currently, there is a team set up to assist in assessing the status of the projects and report to the ministry.

“We are hoping that we will be able to finish the projects brought to 2014 and implement some of the projects slated for the year.

“We have already started the procurement process for the 2014 projects and hopefully, contractors will be mobilised to site by August ending.’’

The official, however, stated that projects were always designed to meet budget allocation.

“Most of the projects do not go through the evaluation, site investigation and design to solve the problem with estimated cost.

“In most cases, it is always appropriation before the design; in that case, you tailor the design based on what has been appropriated,” he added.

About N2 billion had been appropriated for various erosion and flood control projects in 2014 budget out of the N4 billion meant for capital projects in the ministry.

(NAN)

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