The Minister of Communications, Barrister Shittu Says Projects Were Delayed Not Abandoned

The Minister of Communications, Barrister Shittu Says Projects Were Delayed Not Abandoned
Barrister Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu on Sunday said contrary to reports and claims by the Senate Committee on Communication that he abandoned some federal government projects, he did not abandon any of the projects.
Shittu who said that one of the reasons for the delay in executing the projects was due to the delay in the approval of the budget which took the National Assembly seven months to approve, however, insisted that he had saved the federal government six-hundred-million Naira (N600m) with the efforts he made to look critically at the petitions which were written against the procurement department in the ministry among other efforts in the contacts included in the 2018 budget of the ministry.

On Thursday, the Senate committee on Communication bemoans what it described as the ministry’s poor budget performance. The committee said it was difficult for the sum of 18.1 billion to be approved for the Ministry of Communications, saying that the ministry’s performance as regards the 2018 budget was poor.

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The Committee sitting presided over by Senator Isah Hamman Misau, who stood in for its Chairman, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, observed that the Communication ministry’s 2019 budget was reduced by N1.6b less than that of 2018. It lamented that 17 projects out of the 121 budgeted for, were receiving attention two months to the end of 2018 budget year.

The Committee while describing the situation as worrisome observed that out of 121 capital projects approved and appropriated in 2018, just about 17 projects have reached varying degrees of completion, leaving a larger percentage either not funded or executed at all.

But Shittu while reacting said that it will be inconceivable to say that any of the current ministers abandon any federal government projects, as he remarked that, “President Muhammadu Buhari could not have made any mistake by appointing any of the current ministers which took him six months to do”.

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Shittu declared that he saved the Federal government 600 million Naira with the decision he took to ensure transparency in the award of the ministry’s contacts in the 2018 budget.

The Minister while addressing reporters at his Samonda, Ibadan residence said that it will be a misnormal to say that any project has been abandoned by his ministry as claimed by the Senate committee.

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He said, “To start with, it is inconceivable, that any minister abandon any federal government projects and I want to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari could not have made any mistake by appointing any of the current ministers. It took him six months, and he has done a thorough job and I am happy that none of us has disappointed him nor disappointed Nigerians. So it is inconceivable that a minister will abandon federal government projects.

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Oluseyi Adefowora

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