Tinubu orders stepdown of projects initiated during Buhari, other administrations

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President Bola Tinubu has directed that projects initiated during previous administrations be stepdown for review and funding.

Tinubu gave the directive while presiding over the federal executive council (FEC) meeting, said Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, during a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

Idris said the president directed the federal ministry of works to step down memos presented FEC for the examination of projects that require additional funding and review.

Idris said the council asked David Umahi, minister of works, to collaborate with Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and national planning, and Wale Edun, minister of finance, to streamline all projects listed in the memo for proper funding intervention.

The information minister said Tinubu also directed that all projects needing additional funding, as noted in the memos presented at the meeting, should be reconsidered for further discussion at the next council meeting.

Idris clarified that the projects requiring stepdown were inherited from previous administrations and are now being streamlined and reworked with a priority on ensuring their completion in installments.

He noted that the Lagos-Calabar highway and other newly approved roads by the Tinubu administration are not among the projects requiring additional funding.

The minister said the decision to step down the projects is not solely due to funding issues but also involves other factors being considered.

This, he said, does not constitute abandonment, stressing that the augmentation and reviews do not apply to new projects, as they do not have issues requiring additional funding.

Also speaking to journalists, Bagudu said the council set up a committee to review Nigeria’s Public Procurement Act.

He said the committee will be chaired by Lateef Fagbemi, the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice.

The budget minister said the president directed all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to review their planned procurements as provided for in the appropriation, in order to bridge the gaps between appropriated funds and the amounts needed for projects’ execution.

“This will enable a clear source of funding and support timely harmonisation of memos by both the federal ministries of finance and ministry of budget and national planning before subsequent submission and presentation to the executive council,” Bagudu said.

In his remarks, Fagbemi said the government is considering the timely review and amendment of the Public Procurement Act to align with modern realities.

“We want to ensure that whatever is coming to the FEC is in line with the budgetary provisions. Some of the projects have been there for close to 13 years,” Fagbemi said.