NASS committee lauds Cross River on Projects Sustainability

By The Citizen

The National Assembly Committee on Civil Society and Donor Agencies has said it is impressed with the institutional framework put in place by the Cross River State government to enhance sustainability of its projects.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society and Donor Agencies, Hon (Prof) Ini Udoka stated this during a courtesy call on Governor Liyel Imoke after inspecting some projects in the State.

Udoka said they were in the State to inspect projects executed by the European Union (EU) with Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as others undertaken by Federal MDAS to ascertain their Level of implementation, quality and impact on the citizens domiciled in the State.

According to him, they visited projects at Ikot Okon Abasi and Akpap Okoyong in Odukpani Local Government Area and said Cross River has put in place structures that give confidence to international agencies which has singled it out as a model in the Country.

The Federal legislator remarked that this is based on the degree of accountability and transparency which the State exhibits and congratulated it for giving Nigeria confidence in projects execusion.

The chairman expressed its concern over the years about the kind of assistance given to Nigeria by some donor agencies as some are of the previous centuries.

According to him, hand pumps are outdated and cannot withstand events like tsunami and it was time Nigeria decided the kind of assistance that falls in line with national development service which EU should give.

He observed that things done in Cross River are line with the needs of people but, however, noted that the challenge faced by some of the projects is the none released of counterpart funds from the Federal Government and assured that on arrival in Abuja, he would meet with the officials of Federal Ministry of Finance to address the issue.

Udoka averred that the good work done by the state government is an evidence that the people are enjoying dividends of democracy and commended Cross River for establishing Ministry of Water Resources which according to him, not many states have done so.

Governor Liyel Imoke in his response disclosed that over the years the state has instituted necessary institutions and strengthened them with needed capacity to achieve its objectives because of its belief that they will serve the people better.

Imoke explained that partnership with donor agencies will enhance further development and that the import of the projects is that they are client driven and not donor agencies driven.

The governor observed that there should be a limit to how much is spent on capacity training because it takes about 50 percent of the project cost and at most times at the detriment of the project and the clients.

He reasoned that the life cycle of projects must live beyond the tenure of two governors and add values to the lives of the beneficiaries as well as encourage continuity of the party of successive governments.

Imoke disclosed that the state is proposing legislation on counterpart funding of projects to be first charge due to delay in project completion and implementation