Senate Rejects Budget For Akpabio’s Ministry

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The Senate Committee on Niger Delta has rejected the 2020 capital budget of N23 billion for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs due to uncompleted projects in the region.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, made this known on Monday when the minister, Godswill Akpabio, appeared before the committee to defend the ministry’s budget of N25, 910,486,285.

Nwaboshi said that with the oversight function carried out in the ministry, it was realised that the bane of the ministry was abandoned projects littered all over the nine Niger Delta states.

“There is no state, I dare to say that there is no local government where there is no abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.

“We cannot continue like that. With all the abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and we are talking about new projects; these new projects are designed to fail.

“Honourable minister, we need to look at this budget again and we expect you to do your cleanup because the document we needed were not supplied to us,” he said.

Akpabio, however, said that in 2019, N35.2 billion and N877 million were allocated to the Ministry of Niger Delta for capital and overhead expenditure.

He decried that out of the capital appropriation of N35.2 billion, no fund had been received for capital projects.

The minister told journalists afterward that he agreed with the senators but that the budget was not rejected.

“The senators feel that there ought to be completion of major projects that are already in the Niger Delta. I agree with them but unfortunately, we are working under a very tight envelope,” he said.


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