A public expenditure tracking platform, Tracka, has uncovered how N8.6 billion was paid to ‘no-show contractors’ in the 2022 federal government budget.
The contractors were allegedly paid for projects that were either not executed or were poorly executed.
“We uncovered N8.6bn payments to 26 ‘No-Show Contractors’ for 19 projects across nine states in the FG 2022 Budget,” Tracka said on Wednesday.
No-show contractors are contractors that collect payments for work they never perform.
Some of the projects cited by BudgIT’s report are the payment of N542 million to Abu-Halawa International Limited between December 2020 and April 2023 under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the Construction of Jare Earth Dam in Katsina.
” Nothing has been done on the site to date,” Tracka, a platform that allows citizens to collaborate, track, and give feedback on public projects in their communities said.
Another project identified is the payment of N630 million to Babar Global Services Nigeria Ltd and Foundation Solid (NIG) LTD between July 2022 and September 2023 under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the Construction of the Ogbese Multi-Purpose Dam Project, Ekiti.
“This site has been abandoned since 2021,” Tracka’s report said.
Tracka also raised red flag about the payment of N400 million to Laralek Ultimate Ltd in March 2023 under the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the Limited Rehabilitation of Opo Malu Road, Saki, Oyo State.
“The contractor for this site has never reported to the site to date,” it said.
Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s country director said despite the clamor for increased allocations to capital expenditure by FG and subnationals, “our tracking exercise has revealed that capital projects are the largest conduits of embezzlement and misappropriation”.
“Lack of effective oversight on the part of the legislators and ministries, department, and agencies has largely contributed to the high level of poor project execution and, in some cases, outright abandonment of projects,” Okeowo said.
He added, “Governments at all levels need to take public project execution more seriously, considering the huge infrastructure gaps we are grappling with as a nation”.
“We also hope that the new administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will find a way to block these loopholes and leakages; if not, our expenditure will amount to pouring water into a basket,” Okeowo said.
The report also reviewed Tracka’s work and documents findings from the 3,691 projects monitored across 22 states in Nigeria between August 2022 and August 2023.
“Of these projects, 2,037 were completed, 1,012 are ongoing, 533 were unexecuted, and 109 have been abandoned as of the time of filing this report,” it said.
Under capital projects, Tracka’s report showed Kebbi recorded the highest completion rate at 76 percent, Oyo had the lowest at 25 percent, and Taraba had the highest rate of abandoned projects at 27 percent.
“Regarding constituency projects, Bauchi had the highest completion rate with 97 percent Oyo had the lowest with 28 percent, while Nasarawa, with 23 percent, had the highest rate of abandoned projects.”
The report also gives an overview of the implementation of 2022 Constituency and capital projects across 15 states and highlights pertinent needs and abandoned projects across them.