Uche Usim, Abuja
The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has begun physical verification of selected federal government capital projects across the six geo-political zones of the country, in line with the dictates of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
According to the Acting Chairman of the FRC, Victor Muruako, the projects earmarked for the capital project verification are those North-East, North-West and North-Central zones of the Country, South West, South-South and South East geo-political zones.
Some of the projects earmarked for verification in the South-West include the extension and asphalt overlay of Murtala Muhammed runaway (completion of outstanding taxiway ‘B’ , completion of control/technical tower at Ibadan Airport, rehabilitation of Lagos Shagamu-Ibadan Dual Carriageway section 1 in Lagos State C/No. 6204, dualization of Ijebu Ode-Ibadan road, phase 1, rehabilitation of Ijebu-Ode Mumu Oyo State road in Ogun State C/No. 6082 and dualization of Abeokuta-Ibadan road C/ No. 6081. Will be lead by the Chairman of the Commission.
Some projects listed for North-East include Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo, power evacuation project at Kashimbila dam, road construction project in Billiri, Gombe State, State office of Federal Road Safety Commission, Gombe, construction of control tower at Maiduguri and Police Secondary Schools in Bauchi , Yola and Maiduguri. Alhaji Mohammed Zailani is the leader of the North-East Team.
The FRC boss charged the inspection team to carry out the assignments with great diligence and sense of purpose as the exercise was one of the core mandates of the Commission.
He emphasized the need to carry out the inspection as Nigerians need to get the value for the funds released for various projects.
Muruako further said that the verification exercise was designed to give fillip to the next level agenda of the present administration in the area of prudence, accountability, value-for-money and transparency in the efforts to meet the yearnings of the people.
The verification, he maintained, must also be done within the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). The reason for this he explained, was to ensure that government embark on projects that it had the ability to fund, adding that with MTEF, cases of abandoned projects will cease to exist.
According to section 18 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007. “The Medium Term Expenditure Framework shall be the basis for the preparation of the estimates of revenue and expenditure required to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly under Section 81 (1) of the Constitution”. The Act says further: The Medium Term Expenditure Framework shall contain:
“A Micro-Economic Expenditure Framework setting out the macroeconomic projections for the next three financial years, the underlying assumptions for those projections and analysis of the macroeconomic projections and an evaluation and analysis of the macroeconomic projections for the preceding the three financial year”.
It is instructive to note that the verification exercise is also to determine projects that needed funding in line with the Completion targets and to reduce to the barest minimum approvals for new capital projects for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) where the existing indebtedness to contractors runs in billions.