FG to Spend N700m on Federal Secretariats in 6 States
The federal government, on Wednesday, announced its plan to spend N700 million completing the construction of federal secretariats in six states.
The states where the projects will be completed are Anambra, Bayelsa, Zamfara, Nassarawa, Gombe and Osun.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Fashola who addressed newsmen alongside minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the minister of state for aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, said the approval for the project was granted at the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Fashola said work on the six federal secretariats which are in various stages of completion had been stalled since 2012, reports Punch.
The minister noted that there had been a variation in the cost of building the federal secretariats which he attributed to the change in designs, among others.
“The approved cost variation has already been captured in the 2016 budget. With the approval of the variation, we can re-mobilise workers back to site,” he said.
Recall that the federal government has repeatedly claimed it is doing all it can to reduce the running costs of government. In 2015, the administration set up an Efficiency Unit headed by the finance minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
The Efficiency Unit has prescribed various measures to cut down on the overhead costs of the federal executive while the presidency also recently put up two aircraft within the presidential fleet for sale.
However, it appears that those gains may be rolled back with the decision to complete the construction of federal secretariats in six states.
Many observers have at different times noted that the federal civil service is over bloated and has too many people doing little work. It is not hard to imagine that aside the sum of N700m that could be better applied to other pressing needs like equipping schools and hospitals, other costs will be incurred in running those secretariats which may possibly have no clearly identifiable tasks.
A good way to cut costs may rather be to lease those incomplete structures to private developers who may find profitable uses for them, and it is shocking that the federal government has not thought of that option.
Spending to stimulate the economy as the government intends should not be an excuse to spend on waste.
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