Accountability: Taraba govt decry poor execution zonal intervention projects in the state.
Taraba state government on Monday decried that federal government projects allocated to the state were neither poorly executed and claimed by some persons as personal projects or not implemented at all.
Hon. Solomon Elisha, the state Commissioner for Budget and economic planning made the allegation while briefing journalists in his office in Jalingo.
The Commissioner claimed that reports available to his Ministry from the federal government interventions in the State since 2020, indicate that some executing agencies (MDAs) used in implementing the National Budget in Taraba State as its customary for zonal intervention projects (ZIP) and consolidated capital projects from the economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) under president Muhammedu Buhari’s administration have so far been observed with dismay.
According to him, it was observed that some executing agencies have been used over the years for the execution and implementation of Federal Government constituency projects in Taraba State for certain senatorial districts and federal constituencies, not withstanding their previous budget performance as it were poorly executed, unspecified, abandoned or even non-existent.
“The purpose of freedom of information act 2011 of the 1999 constitution as amended was to empower citizens to take ownership of government projects in their constituency, engage their elected representatives and demand accountability and transparency so that public funds will work for public good.
In the 2020 Federal Government budget, a budget line item with the title “Radio Station for the University, Taraba South Senatorial District, Taraba State with the unique excel code (2020ZIPO257) was captured under the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal University of Wukari as the executing agency for the sum N40,000,000 with an unspecified status, is yet to be seen completed.
“Since the 2020 Federal Government constituency projects budget performance was pegged at about 98% in terms of disbursement to MDA, it has also been observed that certain zonal intervention projects and consolidated capital projects are seen by many Tarabans as individual projects rather than Federal Government constituency projects that they truly are.
“The conceptualization of government project interventions as individual efforts becomes worrisome because the players are our supposed representatives who have cornered our sovereign wealth to become theirs. The big question agitating our minds is that the little space given them at the constituency level has been mortgaged. How can we now or in the future aggregate our collective mandate for such representative to lead us or provide leadership at the State level?
“Other worrisome issues include, votes of some Federal Agencies which were claimed to be implemented in the State. These project titles have no coloration at all with the Agencies. Though, beneficial to the State as claimed but are monumental frauds”. The Commissioner alleged.
Hon Elisha also justify his claim with the following as some of such fraudulent projects in the state.
PROGRAM CODE: 2021ZIP0178 2021ZIPO373. PROJECT TITLE: STATUS New
AMOUNT(N): 125,000,000. Implementing AGENCY: Federal College of Horticulture Dadin kowa Gombe. Supply of sewing machines at Taraba Central Senatorial District for employment of women and youths.
The Grants to assist youth/Widows: Youths/widows in Entrepreneurship to cushion the effect of COVID 19 in Wukari/lbi Federal Constituency Taraba State, with a code No, 2021ZIP1019 and National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies as implementing agency.
The construction of community town hall in Mararaba Donga, Donga LGA Taraba South Senatorial District, Taraba State.
The Industrial Arbitration with a code No. 2021ZIP1008: Purchase of three (18 seater Toyota) buses for Taraba South Senatorial District, Taraba State for peace advocacy.
The rehabilitation works at the traditional council secretaria