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SENATE EXPRESSES WORRY OVER ABANDONED N1BN GOVT PRESS

By NBF News
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BY HENRY UMORU
ABUJA- THE Senate Thursday, frowned at the huge variation of an abandoned Federal Government press project from the period it was first awarded till now.

It also noted that the gap in the money had led to the reason there was delay in the completion of the project.

The Senate also queried officials of the Federal Ministry of Information for being responsible for the undue delay in the completion of the project.

Speaking during an oversight visit to the project site at Asokoro, Abuja, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said: 'It appears we have to conduct another public hearing on this project because it is shrouded in mystery and we must unravel it.'

There were explanations that the contract for the project was awarded for about N900 million in 2001, but will now cost over N1 billion after several variations, even as the senators were also informed that though N18 million had been paid for the construction of the access road, no work had been done.

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of information, Salisu Aliyu Gusau, told the committee members that the printing equipment imported since 2005 had been lying in the factory without test run.

Not satisfied with what they saw and the information given to them, the committee then resolved to hold a public hearing by inviting officials of the Information Ministry and those of the Ministry of Housing that supervised the project for five years.