Senate Committee on Marine Transport meets NIWA, MAN Oron over 2021 appropriations

The Senate Committee on Marine Transport has met with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) over their performances in the 2020 budget and the 2021 proposed budget.

Dr George Moghalu, Managing Director, NIWA, in a statement on Tuesday, said the authority’s total appropriation for 2020 was N6,349,834,548, made up of recurrent estimates of N877,941,048 and capital estimates of N5,471,893,500.

“This implies that the recurrent budget constitutes 13.8 per cent and capital estimates 86. 2 per cent of the total 2020 budget Appropriation for implementation.

“However, a recent review of the utilisation revealed that about N591,121,713.73 representing 67.3 percent of the total recurrent budget was utilised.

“The review showed that N844,891,399.63, which constitutes about 15.4 percent of the total capital budget, was utilised as at October, 2020.

“Though the financial performance stood at 76.3 per cent of the total dapital budget, actual project implementation performance for the period was very poor.

“This is owing to delay in capital releases occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic that posed a very great global economic threat.

“The authority’s drive to actualise its objectives remains the primary focus with the fiscal year yet to elapse, ” he said.

Moghalu, however, said that a total of N6,625,057,455 was proposed for 2021 for favourable considerations, adding that it hoped to complete all on-going projects and enhance revenue generation.

He said: “In line with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari, the authority reiterates its determination to upscale the development of Inland Water Transportation in Nigeria.

“I, therefore, seize this opportunity to appeal to Mr Chairman and members of the committee to use their power to ensure and facilitate a conducive financial and legal environment.

“This will provide the boost needed for NIWA to achieve it’s full potentials.”

Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd), the Rector of MAN, in a remark, said that N2,163,692, 734 was appropriated for 2020, while N1,561,001,781 was released.

Effedua stated that the total sum of N2,254,341,534 was proposed for 2021.

According to him, the total recurrent estimates for 2021 was N1,165,939,238, while total  capital estimates was N1,088,402,296.

He said that most of the projects at the academy were ongoing because of non-completion by the past administration, stating that 99 per cent of what was released in 2020 had been utilised.

He said that until all the ongoing projects were completed, no new projects would commence at the academy.

Responding, Sen. Danjuma Goje, Chairman of the Committee, said that the two organisations should give a breakdown of percentages of theit ongoing projects.

Goje said that such was necessary to ascertain the level of completion of each project to avoid a repeat of the same projects next year. (NAN)

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