Abdulmumin jibrin representing kogi west in the upper chamber and the chairman of appropriation committee allocates N4.1b project to his constituency.The minimum of 80 road project which will cost N40bn were inserted into the 2016 budget at the National Assembly, sources told our correspondent yesterday.
There have been controversies over the removal of the N60bn Lagos-Calabar rail project and others from the 2016 budget by the lawmakers.
Sources told Daily Trust that the lawmakers at both chambers removed some of the projects included in the budget submitted by the executive and replaced them with new ones.
It was gathered that the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on appropriation, Rep Abdulmumin Jibrin, allocated projects worth N4.169 billion to his constituency in the budget.
Details of the budget seen by Daily Trust yesterday indicated that Jibrin alone allocated 22 projects worth N4.169bn to Kiru/Bebeji, his federal constituency. It was gathered that the projects allocated to the lawmaker’s federal constituency are outside the usual constituency projects captured in the budget.
A senator told our correspondent on condition of anonymity, that the projects were included during budget defence and that they had since scaled through.
“In works alone, 80 road projects that were not in the budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari were included. These projects were injected into the budget by the works committee,” he said.
According to him, each of the projects cost about N500m and the senators included them in the budget to attract projects to their constituencies.
“The roads were distributed to the senators’ constituencies. It was while the committee was trying to address the lopsidedness in the distribution of road projects that the roads got into the budget.
“You know in the initial budget submitted by the president, there was gross imbalance in the distribution of road projects. It was while balancing this that they introduced new 80 road projects,” he said.
The senator said each of the committees introduced new projects into the budget and they had since scaled through. He listed the affected committees to include agriculture, water resources, health, education and rural development.
He said it would be unfair to single out the chairmen of the Appropriation Committees of both chambers.
“It is a common thing during budget processes at the National Assembly. All chairmen and vice chairmen of committees are involved, especially popular committees. This has been the practice as such there is nothing new about this thing,” he said.
Jirbin confirmed to Daily Trust yesterday that it was true that he allocated projects to his constituency just like some of his colleagues did.
“It is true that there are projects allocated to my constituency just like other members did. Just because I’m the chairman of the appropriation committee, my constituents should not get projects? Are my constituents not Nigerians?
“Every member has one project or the other in his constituency, so I don’t think I did anything wrong by having some projects in my constituency. I think people should be fair to me please,” he said.
A breakdown of the projects showed that there are 10 under the ministry of works, which are
construction and rehabilitation of the works centre, N100m;
construction of town hall, N100m;
block of classrooms, undisclosed;
rehabilitation of Sharada - Kwanar Dogara, N1.445bn;
solar street lights, N300m;
rehabilitation of Gwarzo Kiru, Kwanar Maiyaki, N180m;
Kiru - Badaf road construction, N405m;
rehabilitation and construction of roads in Kiru/Bebeji, N150m, and
construction of pedestrian bridges, N200m.
In the ministry of water resources, there are eight projects, namely:
construction of earth dam, N1m;
construction of 10 hand-pump boreholes in Bagauda, N10m;
small irrigation schemes in Kiru, N100m;
construction of Bebeji earth dam, N270m;
construction of solar powered boreholes, N150m;
outstanding projects of 2014 in Kiru Bebeji, N100m and
provision of hand-pump boreholes and water scheme, N38.023m.
Under the ministries of women affairs and agriculture, the projects are empowerment programme:
supply of tricycles, grinding machines and set of women salon empowerment kits, N200m and
construction of rural roads in Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency, N150m.
As for the SGF’s office, there are two projects for the Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency, which are
provision of empowerment items, N100m and
provision of entrepreneurship development training and vocational centre, N100m.
It was observed that one item was repeated with different figures under the Ministry of Water Resources, which is construction of Bebeji earth dam with N270m and N50m respectively.