(Participants during the interface meeting on budget implementation organised by GAT under V2P project in Kaduna on Friday)
No contractor will sleep under my watch if – Shehu Sani
From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Monitoring reports of 2017 budget in Southern Kaduna Federal Constituency had shown that, the Federal Government performed woefully in implementation of budgets as regards projects captured in this area.
This was the summation of reports presented by communities where some of these projects were situated during an interface meeting with community members, ministries, departments and agencies, legislators and service provider on the 2017 federal appropriation budget for chikun and Kaduna South Local Government Areas organised by Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) under its Voice to the People’s (V2P)project.
In his presentation, Balarabe Muhammed, Makera ward 1, who went on tour of the projects like construction of additional hostel facilities at Kaduna Polytechnic said, he was disappointed because there was nothing on ground even when 2018 is already going.
“The implementation of federal budget in Kaduna Polytechnic under 2017 appropriation was appalling. There was nothing on ground. This is what was captured in the huge sum budgeted in 2017 but we are yet to benefit”, he said.
Also, Chechet Joshua from Television Community said, “upon my visit to Kad Poly, no additional hostel anywhere as captured in that year’s budget.
“Based on the knowledge we have acquired under the V2P project, lawmakers representing this constituency both at the upper and lower chamber of national assembly suppose to carry out their oversight functions and tell us their findings and not the other way round.
“But the good thing is that, we are now better informed and can track budget within our reach. So, when V2P went round, nothing was on ground.
“We forward a latter to Kaduna Polytechnic management, intimating them on our interest to see ongoing project in the school but as we speak, about four weeks now, we are still waiting for them. We want to hear from them in case they have any document that can further assist us but like I said, we are still waiting.
But in a swift response, Senator representing Kaduna Central District, Shehu Sani told physically angry citizens that, there is no how any contractor can go to sleep without executing any project awarded to such contractor under his senatorial district especially if such a contractor has been mobilised.
The lawmaker, who was represented by his Special Assistant (Special Duties), Bashir Yakubu said, issue of funds to execute the projects was the major set back to implementation of the budget by the federal government.
“Just about a week ago, the Rector visited the Senator in Abuja. What I see is the issue of cash because the project they were talking about is intervention by Petroleum Equalization Finds.
“You can be sure the senator will not allow the contractor to go to sleep if you are giving a contract under his constituency. We expect Federal Ministry of Works to release the funds to get the project executed as captured in federal appropriation”, he concluded.
On his part, Project Officer, V2P Stephen John regretted that, the reports made available to his organisation by those who did the field survey were not encouraging.
To him, “what we have discovered during this project was that, budgets are made but little or no implementation is seen. Elected members need to step up their oversight function to ensure that budgets in their communities are carried out.
“Renovation of male and female wards at Federal Psychological Hospital, Barnawa is still hanging. Nothing has been done here and that is the only health facility I can tell you about for now. So, we still want government to do more in budgets implementation.”
OJO SOLA SENT IN THIS REPORT