Upon independence in 1960, Nigeria was classified as a new developing nation. But 61 years later, we are among the most underdeveloped and backward countries in the world.
All of our economic, social, political and human development indices are among the worst while the deficits are among the highest.
The recent revelation that there are 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria validates Nigeria’s backward claim.
In August 2021, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, revealed the existence of this large number of unfinished projects, estimating the cost at 12 trillion naira.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, recently confirmed this fact at a conference at the University of Ibadan. But what is the reason for this shameful anomaly?
Abba Tor, the president of NIQS, postulates that most contracts fail in Nigeria due to poor cost estimation. Politicians and even individuals tend to embark on projects without resorting to the services of experts, and even when they do, they do not strictly follow expert advice.
The moment the realities of the market appear to the facilitator, the effort is suspended. Some are still pushing ahead to cut shortcuts, leading to failure of such construction, bridge and road projects.
Corruption is at the heart of most abandoned public projects. Most contracts go to politically exposed construction businessmen and women, who collect mobilization fees and quit the job overnight.
Most contracts are compromised at source because the awarding and funding sources deduct part of the project funds for themselves, leaving very little for the work. Abandonment is also linked to the lack of continuity.
The new regimes tend to abandon the contracts made by their predecessors, especially in the event of a hostile takeover. Everyone wants to continue their “legacy” projects which end up leading to “corruption of inheritance”.
If the right things had been done and these 56,000 projects had been completed as part of our development efforts, Nigeria would certainly have been a much better place for all the citizens.
Life would have been better and easier for everyone.
What we have, instead, is that the tiny few who have stolen public funds from these projects are largely living at the expense of ordinary Nigerians.
These investment projects are said to have helped spur the creation of wealth and jobs, and the violent crimes ravaging Nigeria are minimal and easily controllable.
As a nation, we must turn a new leaf. The 2023 elections should not go as usual. We must elect leaders who will rally the country to put the brakes on the abandonment of corrupt projects.
The legislature, the judiciary, the media, civil society and the population must rise up against corrupt leaders. Government is a continuum; a relay race. The exchange of witnesses should continue until government plans are fully updated.
We need a new era of accountability among public office holders.
Nigeria’s 56,000 abandoned projects appeared first on Vanguard News.