JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Unspent Funds has grilled the Minister of Transportation Mr. Rotimi Amaechi over the non-utilization of N3.4bn earmarked as unspent fund in the Ministry of Transportation’s 2019 budget for railway expansion project and sundry issues.
Chairman of the Committee Hon.Charles Uduyok and members of the committee who grilled the Minister on the issue queried the homongonous amount running into billions of Naira in the ministry’s annual budget asking them to go and fine-tune the document in line with extant financial regulations.
But the Minister said that the budgeted funds are for the railway expansion projects ongoing in various parts of the country adding that they had already done some of these projects namely Lagos-Kano, Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Kano railway lines.
He said that the Lagos-Kano railway line is the first to be fixed because of the volume of trade in that axis.However he regretted that the pace of work in the rehabilitation work has been slowed by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
He informed that the work on the first phase of the railway expansion project is almost complete as there was no form of attack or robbery on the contract holder or the contractor during the project execution except in Ajaokuta where the natives demanded payment.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission FRC Mr Victor Murako has expressed displeasure over the proposed scrapping of the agency by the federal authorities.
The chief executive of the agency who had earlier appeared before the committee on the utilization of the agency’s budgeted funds regretted that the commission which annual budget is always less than N100 million is been penciled for scraping adding that it pays its generated revenue regularly into the federal coffers.
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