JONATHAN ORDERS PROBE OF PROJECTS IN 2010 BUDGET

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President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee to probe some projects listed for execution in the 2010 budget.

The directive followed a discovery that the controversial contract for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja second runway project was overvalued by N13.5bn.

The PPAC, at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said it reduced the contract sum from N63.8bn to N49.6bn, after 'a meticulous assessment of the scope and design of the project.'

Receiving the report of the committee, Jonathan said he believed that a probe of some of the budgeted projects would yield similar results.

The President also directed that the PPAC's assignment should be extended from March 1, 2010 to May 29, 2011, the date his administration's tenure would end.

Reports on about 7,000 projects assessed by the committee are to be submitted to Jonathan and made public on a regular basis.

The reports will form part of the handover notes of the Jonathan administration.

Presenting the report on the airport, the Chairman of the PPAC, Mr. Ibrahim Bunu, said the committee paid special attention to the project because of the interest the contract sum generated shortly after hearings on the matter by the National Assembly.

He explained that the size of the second runway had been reduced from 4.5 kilometres to 4.25 kilometres.

Bunu later told journalists that the reduction of the contract sum did not imply a reduction in the quality of the project.

He said, 'Our presence in the Villa today (Monday) was to present to the President our interim report called 'Interim Report One,' which covers the second runway of the NAIAA.

'The contract for the runway, which includes design and construction, has generated a lot of public interest and criticism of recent, especially from the National Assembly, and we had to hasten the conclusion of this report for government.

'What we have done in the review of the project was to review the entire design and scope of the contract by re-orientating the location of the runway; that has given us a lot of opportunity to reduce the scope of earth work and construction work.

'It has also given us the reduction in scope of the electrical and even the runway; and therefore we have been able to save a substantial sum on the contract sum.

'The contract sum, which was N63.8bn, has been reduced to N49.6bn, with a saving of N13.5bn on the contract sum. This what we have presented to the President.

'We are happy that the President is happy with our report and we hope the next stage of the project will be good for Nigeria.

'We shifted the original position of the runway to a location which gives stronger earth stability and also require less filling of sand.

'Also, the shifting brought the runway nearer to the existing runway, which has resulted in reducing the taxiway.'

Explaining further, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, said Jonathan extended the PPAC's tenure, and directed the committee to probe some projects in the 2010 budget.

According to Niboro, the President has a strong belief that tremendous savings would be made from a probe of some of the projects in the 2010 budget, particularly 'below the radar procurements' that do not pass through the Bureau for Public Procurement.

Niboro said, 'You have noticed that the committee has made savings of about N13.5bn on the Abuja airport second runway project. This is one of the roles this committee is meant to play.

'At the meeting today (Monday), the President directed that the tenure of this committee be extended till May 29, 2011; it will go with this administration.

'Its report will be part of the handover note to the new administration that will come on board.

'The reason for this is obvious; the projects are much and already they have looked at 7,000 projects and there are more. The President doesn't want a situation where they will be loading him with huge reports. He would rather want them to be coming from time to time, especially regarding major projects, as they have done with the Abuja airport second runway project.'

Niboro also said that Jonathan was concerned with the unusually high rate of public procurement in Nigeria, which 'is unnecessarily higher than what is obtainable in neighbouring countries.'

He said, 'Another thing that the committee is to look into is the cost of doing business in the country.

'The President wants this committee to get involved in procurement, especially those that are below the radar procurements that does not necessarily go through the BPP.

'A lot of procurement is happening in the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government that does not come to the BPP. I think there is a need to look at them because the 2010 budget is already in deficit and the President feels there will be a lot of savings made if we look into those projects.

'The committee is going to get involved in this process and these are the reasons why its tenure has been extended, so that its members can have time to do a thorough job for this administration.'

Jonathan had on March 1, 2010 set up the committee, to assess the status of all on-going federal projects in the country.

Jonathan orders probe of projects in 2010 budget


By Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja
Tuesday, 25 May 2010




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Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee to probe some projects listed for execution in the 2010 budget.

The directive followed a discovery that the controversial contract for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja second runway project was overvalued by N13.5bn.

The PPAC, at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said it reduced the contract sum from N63.8bn to N49.6bn, after 'a meticulous assessment of the scope and design of the project.'

Receiving the report of the committee, Jonathan said he believed that a probe of some of the budgeted projects would yield similar results.

The President also directed that the PPAC's assignment should be extended from March 1, 2010 to May 29, 2011, the date his administration's tenure would end.

Reports on about 7,000 projects assessed by the committee are to be submitted to Jonathan and made public on a regular basis.

The reports will form part of the handover notes of the Jonathan administration.

Presenting the report on the airport, the Chairman of the PPAC, Mr. Ibrahim Bunu, said the committee paid special attention to the project because of the interest the contract sum generated shortly after hearings on the matter by the National Assembly.

He explained that the size of the second runway had been reduced from 4.5 kilometres to 4.25 kilometres.

Bunu later told journalists that the reduction of the contract sum did not imply a reduction in the quality of the project.

He said, 'Our presence in the Villa today (Monday) was to present to the President our interim report called 'Interim Report One,' which covers the second runway of the NAIAA.

'The contract for the runway, which includes design and construction, has generated a lot of public interest and criticism of recent, especially from the National Assembly, and we had to hasten the conclusion of this report for government.

'What we have done in the review of the project was to review the entire design and scope of the contract by re-orientating the location of the runway; that has given us a lot of opportunity to reduce the scope of earth work and construction work.

'It has also given us the reduction in scope of the electrical and even the runway; and therefore we have been able to save a substantial sum on the contract sum.

'The contract sum, which was N63.8bn, has been reduced to N49.6bn, with a saving of N13.5bn on the contract sum. This what we have presented to the President.

'We are happy that the President is happy with our report and we hope the next stage of the project will be good for Nigeria.

'We shifted the original position of the runway to a location which gives stronger earth stability and also require less filling of sand.

'Also, the shifting brought the runway nearer to the existing runway, which has resulted in reducing the taxiway.'

Explaining further, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, said Jonathan extended the PPAC's tenure, and directed the committee to probe some projects in the 2010 budget.

According to Niboro, the President has a strong belief that tremendous savings would be made from a probe of some of the projects in the 2010 budget, particularly 'below the radar procurements' that do not pass through the Bureau for Public Procurement.

Niboro said, 'You have noticed that the committee has made savings of about N13.5bn on the Abuja airport second runway project. This is one of the roles this committee is meant to play.

'At the meeting today (Monday), the President directed that the tenure of this committee be extended till May 29, 2011; it will go with this administration.

'Its report will be part of the handover note to the new administration that will come on board.

'The reason for this is obvious; the projects are much and already they have looked at 7,000 projects and there are more. The President doesn't want a situation where they will be loading him with huge reports. He would rather want them to be coming from time to time, especially regarding major projects, as they have done with the Abuja airport second runway project.'

Niboro also said that Jonathan was concerned with the unusually high rate of public procurement in Nigeria, which 'is unnecessarily higher than what is obtainable in neighbouring countries.'

He said, 'Another thing that the committee is to look into is the cost of doing business in the country.

'The President wants this committee to get involved in procurement, especially those that are below the radar procurements that does not necessarily go through the BPP.

'A lot of procurement is happening in the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government that does not come to the BPP. I think there is a need to look at them because the 2010 budget is already in deficit and the President feels there will be a lot of savings made if we look into those projects.

'The committee is going to get involved in this process and these are the reasons why its tenure has been extended, so that its members can have time to do a thorough job for this administration.'

Jonathan had on March 1, 2010 set up the committee, to assess the status of all on-going federal projects in the country.