lawmakers
Senators and members of the House of Representatives, during presentation of the 2016 appropriation bill by president muhammadubuhari at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday (22/12/15). 7808/22/12/2015/JAU/BJO/NAN

Agency Report

The National Assembly has commenced inspection of Federal Government’s N300 million intervention projects in Bakassi Local Government of Cross River.

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Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration and the House of Representatives Committee on Special duties made this known on Tuesday.

The Senate committee’s chairman, Abdullahi Gumel, told journalists at the projects’ sites that oversight of Bakassi projects became necessary following allegations of negligence.

Committees on ground to inspect projects

Gumel informed that the committees were on ground to inspect projects carried out  by the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) of the Federal Government and to see the efforts made by the state government in that regard.

He said, “the Border Communities Development Agency is an intervention agency and having spent about N300 million here, I am impressed with what we have seen on ground.

“The communities have primary health care centre, border community markets, outpost, schools, water projects and new roads.

“So, the impression created that our brothers and sisters displaced from Bakassi are abandoned is not true, you have all seen as much too.

“The Federal Government is working and in line with the change mantra, we are going to do more in this area.”

The lawmaker further gave the assurance that the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, would continue to play its part by way of oversight, enactment of laws and improved funding to ameliorate the sufferings of people living in border communities.

Similarly, Nasiru Daura, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties, commended the BCDA for executing the projects in spite of the agency’s poor funding.

He said “this is my first time in the Bakassi area and I am really impressed with government’s presence, especially with regards to the roads from Calabar.’’

Agency charged to step up

He, however, urged the Agency to deliver standard facilities that would stand the test of time, adding that any attempt to compromise quality would not be accepted by the legislature.

“We are impressed with the projects we have seen; there are a few challenges which I think are mainly due to paucity of funds.

“The contractor needs to do a good job because what we have seen on ground falls short of the required standard.”

The Executive Secretary of BCDA, Mr Numoipre Wills, said the Agency had within its limited budget executed projects in Bakassi as part of Federal Government’s determination to reach out to Bakassi people.

“the Bakassi Local Government in Cross River has different border communities which have difficulties accessing healthcare, power, education, water and other social amenities.”

Wills listed some of the projects executed in Bakassi to include the construction of international border market in Ikang, a healthcare centre with quarters for doctors and a school, both situated in Ifiang-Ayong.