Presidency Refutes Report That Niger Delta Gets 86% Of FG Projects

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SAN FRANCISCO, October 11, (THEWILL) – The Presidency Tuesday refuted a media report alleging that the Niger Delta zone gets 86% of Federal Government Projects.

The report published by Daily Trust accused President Goodluck Jonathan of favouring his geo-political zone in the award of projects at the expense of other geo-political zones of Nigeria.

“Having noted with regret, the very misleading lead report of the Daily Trust of Monday, October 10, 2011 titled: “NIGER DELTA GETS 86% OF FG PROJECTS”, the Presidency wishes to state that there is absolutely no truth to the insinuation that the Jonathan Administration is favouring the Niger Delta region at the expense of other geo-political zones in the distribution of developmental projects.

“It is a verifiable fact that the Niger Delta projects listed in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) publication which formed the basis of Daily Trust’s mischievous report were initiated, not by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, but by his late predecessor, President Umaru Yar’Adua,” the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, stated in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Continuing, the Presidency said’ “Furthermore, the projects, which were envisioned by late President Yar’Adua to give full effect to his admirable commitment to redressing the under-development of the Niger Delta, are all contained in the Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly which represents all sections of the country.

“These projects and the ongoing amnesty programme for repentant militants in the Niger Delta are indeed a most worthy legacy of the truly visionary and nationalistic leadership of late President Yar’Adua who was fully committed to peace, stability and the equal development of all parts of the country.

“Instead of being pilloried and assailed by mischievous insinuations of regional favouritism, President Jonathan ought to be commended for keeping faith with his predecessor’s vision of equity in national development and for implementing the budget as passed by the National Assembly,” the statement added.

THEWILL recalls that Daily Trust, a local Nigerian newspaper promoting both cultural and political interests of the core Hausa speaking states has not hidden its dislike for the Jonathan Presidency.

According to the Presidency statement, “Also, the misleading analysis of federal government projects by Daily Trust deliberately excluded data from January and February, and from September to the end of the year, thereby ignoring the fact that while a region may appear to dominate project awards in quarterly or half-year reports, other regions may ultimately record higher figures at the end of the year.

“It should be recalled that the 2010 fiscal year ran from January 2010 to March 2011. A holistic review of the BPP publication quoted by the Daily Trust will show that sections of the country got projects in relation to their needs and projections at different times and circumstances.

“It is also a fact that the projects listed in the publication were from MDAs which had concluded project procurement process and made requests for approval to the Federal Executive Council.

“The Trust analysis conveniently ignored the fact that other MDAs with a high volume of projects for other regions are still sending their procurement proposals to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

“In furtherance of its unjustifiable attacks on the Jonathan Administration, Daily Trust falsely claims that no project was assigned to the North Central geo-political zone. This is patently false. Currently, the North-Central Zone has ongoing federal government projects valued at over One Trillion Naira!

“President Jonathan remains fully committed to ensuring equity in the allocation of national resources for development and all his actions as President testify to this unwavering commitment.

“The Jonathan Administration is also committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in governance. This is why BPP regularly publishes the details of contract awards that Daily Trust seized upon for its distorted and misleading analysis.

“While the Administration will continue to publish details of contract awards in pursuance of the goals of transparency and accountability, it urges citizens and the media to review the published figures within a proper context and not in a manner that will mischievously fan the embers of disunity and ethnicism.”