|[FILES] 2020 Progress Report on the Second Niger Bridge which comprises 1.6 km long River Niger Bridge; 10.3km Highway, Owerri Interchange and Toll Station. Photo; TWITTER/FMWHNIG|
To ensure that no project is abandoned in the Southeast geo-political zone, the Federal Government has urged all contractors handling such projects to complete them.
Team Lead of the Southeast comprising Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia and Enugu states for the physical verification exercise of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), Charles Abana, stated this yesterday while inspecting some projects at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, Imo State, in line with the FRC Act 2007.
Abana hinted that his team had visited 10 of 11 projects in the zone, including the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Projects the team visited in the FMC, Owerri, are the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), awarded at N175.7m, for which the government had released N142m and Medical Ward awarded at N248.1m for which N93m had been released to the contractor.
Others are the Specialist Out Patient awarded at N239m for which N42m had been paid, and the Renal Dialysis Centre, which had reached five per cent completion.
He disclosed that some of the projects were awarded in 2015, 2018, and 2019, with their budgets reoccurring, noting that the Federal Government was keen on avoiding wastages and abandonment of projects, lamenting the delay in executing and completing some of the projects due to the COVID-19) pandemic and rising inflation.
He appealed to the contractors to understand the value attached to the projects and complete them on schedule to generate revenue for the government, especially the MRI Department at the FMC.
Earlier, Abana told the Medical Director of the FMC, Dr. Achigbu Kingsley, that the aim of the inspection visit was to verify the extent to which the project had been implemented, ascertain if the institution borrowed any money to carry out its operations and if they were in line with the provisions of the FRC Act.
Responding, Kingsley lamented that limited resources, the COVID-19 pandemic, seemingly unending demands and inability to complete some projects started since 2015, inflation, and reduction in budgetary allocations were affecting operations of the health facility.
He appealed to the National Assembly to assist the institution, adding that the Federal Government had communicated its intention to upgrade the institution to a University Teaching Hospital.
“It has not been easy. Problems made things not done the way it should. We have challenges, such as a reduction in budget, even salaries. In the FMC, the biggest problem we have is bed space. We need more bed space,” he said.
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