Chris Steven, Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into the abandoned N61 billion Katampe District engineering Infrastructure project and make recommendations within six weeks.
The Committee tagged “Inter-Ministerial Committee on Contract and Financial Audit of the Public Private Project for the Development of Engineering Infrastructure for Katampe District, Abuja” is chaired by a retired Permanent Secretary Zanna Baba-Gana.
During inauguration of the Committee in Abuja, the Minister expressed disappointment, that the PPP which commenced on the 17th January 2012 and scheduled to last 36 months, is just 16.4 percent complete as at January 2015, after over three years.
“It is disappointing that as at 16th January 2015 when all construction works ought to have been completed; the project achieved only 16.4 percent completion and the developer suspended construction works at the site since December 2014”.
“The expectation was that this pioneer FCTA PPP Project would be completed within 36 month. Regrettably, that initial high hope has been dashed, as the success of the project has been considerably undermined by crisis of performance.” He said
Bello, charged the Committee to review the extent of compliance with the obligations and the processes of the PPP Contract Agreement by the FCTA/FCDA, the Developer, Lenders, the Independent Engineer, the PPP Consultant, ICRC and other government agencies with reference to the technical and financial performances.
The Committee is to also establish the extent of interventions by relevant government agencies with respect to the monitoring of the PPP Contract, establish any shortcomings in the performance of the PPP Contract in the course of the review and make appropriate recommendations on the way forward.
The Minister, however, clarified that the project audit is not intended for witch-hunting, but rather a fact-finding exercise designed to assist the FCT Administration to diagnose the problems that have threatened the success of the PPP project, with a view to identifying appropriate solutions and ensuring successful completion.
He said that members were carefully selected on the bases of their competences, commitment, integrity and track records; adding that the FCT Administration is confident that they will undertake a thorough and fair contract and financial audit.
Speaking during the inauguration, FCT Permanent Secretary, Babatope Ajakaiye disclosed that the 16-Member Committee has Federal Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bureau of Public Procurement, the Federal Ministry of Justice, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and the Debt Management Office as well as officials of the FCT Administration fully represented in the Committee.
He expressed confidence that the Committee Chairman, Engr. Zanna Baba-Gana, whom he described as being of indisputable reputation, will do a good job and make useful recommendations.
Responding on behalf of the members of the Committee, the Chairman, Engr. Zanna Baba-Gana assured that the Committee would find solution to the problem since the Committee is fact finding.
Engr. Baba-Gana further assured that the Committee would work diligently and honestly to enable FCT Administration re-start the project and achieve its aim.