‘Ghost projects’ worth N4 billion uncovered in NIWA

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A joint session of the House of Representatives Committees on Inland Waterways, Land Transport, Ports and Harbours, and Marine Safety and Education, and the Senate Committee on Marine Transport have uncovered non-existent projects worth N4 billion in the 2020 budget proposed by the National Inland Waterways Agency (NIWA).

It was also discovered that over N4bn had been appropriated for the items between 2017 and 2019.

The controversial projects, according to Punch, included the National Freight Office in Idi-Iroko, Ogun State, for which N40.5m was appropriated in 2017; N166m in 2018 and N99m in 2019, while N400m was proposed in the 2020 budget estimates of the federal ministry of transportation’s budget line item ERGP 27102753.

Another was the procurement of dredgers and other related equipment/vessels, for which N1.5bn was proposed in NIWA’s 2020 proposal.

The lawmakers observed that N2.2bn was appropriated for the project in the 2018 and an additional N1bn in 2019.

The deputy chairman, house committee on waterways, Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, who spoke to journalists after the session, frowned at the various infractions discovered in the successive budgets, while calling for a thorough investigation into the funds expended on the projects.

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