By Socrates Mbamalu, Foundation for Investigative Journalism
Multi-million-naira projects for which money has already been allocated and withdrawn have been abandoned in Cross River State, BudgIT Tracka is reporting.
At Model Government Secondary School, Okpoma, Cross River State, a N15 million project for the construction of a schoolgate has been abandoned.
The school, located in the Northern Senatorial district of the State, has not been fenced. This is however not the only case of suspicious use of funds in the State.
At Bebi Campus of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, N26 million was released from the 2020 Federal Government budget for the completion of both male and female hostels. And at Mount Camel Girls Secondary School in Ogoja, N10 million was allocated to the completion of the school hall. All three projects were found to have been abandoned.
N16,001,188 was allocated in the 2020 FG budget for the completion of a female hostel at Bebi campus, Cross River state.
We tracked and report that despite the funds released by FG the project still remains ABANDONED. pic.twitter.com/mqR3OxDVFE
— TrackaNG (@TrackaNG) April 22, 2021
The project at Bebi Campus was abandoned for two years and cassava which was ready for harvesting was found planted inside the hostels.
Abel Obono who tracked the project told FIJ he did not meet any students but only security guards.
“The project should have been done by now. It was a Federal Ministry of Education project,” he said.
He also mentioned that other Federal projects which were allocated funds had been completed. Bebi Campus seemed to have been deliberately abandoned.
The completion of a one block of three classrooms at St. Patrick Primary School, Okpoma, for N20 million further raised a red herring as to how money for Federal projects are ballooned. Obono said the classrooms were very small and couldn’t be for N20 million and at most could not be for more than N5 million.
The project, facilitated by Senator Rose Okoji Oko, was reported by Tracka Nigeria to still be under lock and key. Research by MAWA Foundation found that building a three block of three classrooms is between N8 million and N10 million.
Senator Oko, who was the first female representative from her constituency, had been re-elected as Senator in 2019 and served as Chairman, Senate Committee on Trades and Investment before passing away in March 2020.
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