Nigeria MDGs office deletes project tracker from website after PREMIUM TIMES borehole story

Water scarcity

The Nigeria Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, Office has deleted an online tool, project tracker, from its website days after PREMIUM TIMES exposed how the office spent N154 million to construct a single borehole.

The story, published Tuesday, showed how the office spent outrageous sums to build boreholes around Abuja. The online project tracker contained details of the spending.

The tool, on fctmdgprojecttracker.org, provided details of Abuja MDGs projects, contractors and contract sums.

A borehole in Abuja averages N1.5 million, but many contracts verified by PREMIUM TIMES were allocated for over N8 million, with the N154 million project being the most expensive.

The Abuja MDGs office did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ question concerning why the page was pulled down few days after the report was published.

The director of works at the office, known by his second name, Mr. Dalhatu, did not respond to calls and text messages.

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Contacted, Desmond Utomwen, a spokesperson to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (OSSAP – MDGs), said he could not discuss the contract for boreholes as his office had no authority to dictate to the Abuja office how it spends its money.

The eight target goals of the MDGs, set at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, are eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promotion of gender equality; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.

In 2010/2011 alone, N249.26billion was channelled through Nigeria’s federal ministries, departments and agencies, “Quick Wins” (Constituency projects, but now called Special projects), Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) to state governments, and Special presidential interventions for MDGs programmes and projects.

Analysts say poor execution of projects, racketeering, inflation of contracts, and other contractual breaches are some of the factors responsible for Nigeria’s inability to achieve its MDG goals.

Contract for the N154 million borehole, constructed at Gwanrinpa in Abuja, was awarded to Zarm Global Service on March 28, 2008. The company has no address, contact person or telephone number.

Another N110.6 million was paid for the construction of a borehole at Tungan Nasara community of Jiwa Ward in Abuja Municipal Area Council. The contract was awarded to Global And Global Venture Limited on March 29, 2008. Also, the company has no address or contact person.

Investigation revealed that a greater percentage of the 1,333 projects executed by the Abuja office of the MDGs between 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 in Abuja communities, were either below the set standard or abandoned by contractors.

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