The Nigerian Economic Management Team (EMT), which chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has been urged to ensure that the funds voted for ongoing capital projects in the 2020 budgetary allocations are not mopped up by December 31 this year.
Some contractors in procurement under the aegis of Ministries Development Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in a chat with reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had encroached into the completion time of their contracts for the 2020 financial year. Besides, they said the shutting down of the world economy during the heat of the pandemic had hindered their chances of procurement of vital materials for their ongoing capital projects. Spokesman for the group, Mr. Kennedy Ajuwan, said if the National Assembly should insist on the mopping up of the remaining funds in parastatals by December 31, this year, it would lead to abandonment of over 70 per cent of ongoing projects, “especially if such projects are not captured as ongoing projects in the 2021 budget.” Ajuwan said: “We lost three months to COVID-19 outbreak. We could neither work nor import materials for projects under construction during this period.
Some of the contracts entail the procurement of items abroad. “This is an economy under a recession and it is not in the best interest of the country at present to have abandoned projects. It will be costlier to resuscitate such projects.