By Ignatius Ushie
The Senate Committee on Marine Transport on Tuesday 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. This was revealed by a statement obtained by Transport Day, from the Media aide to the Hon. Minister of Transportation.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, in his address said that the Authority’s total Appropriation for year 2020 was N6, 349,834,548, made up of recurrent estimates of N877,941,048 while 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 utilized while N844,891,399.63 which constitutes about 15.4 percent of the total capital budget was utilized as at October, 2020.
“Though the financial performance stood at 76.3 percent of the total Capital budget, actual project implementation performance for the period was very poor owing to delay in capital releases occasioned by the COVID19 pandemic that posed a very great global economic threat, the Authority’s drive to actualise its objectives which remain the primary focus with the fiscal year yet to elapse.”
Moghalu, however, said that a total of N6,625,057,455 was proposed for 2021 for favourable considerations stating that it hopes to complete all on-going projects and enhance revenue generation.
According to the NIWA MD, “I therefore conclude that in line with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Authority reiterates its determination now more than ever 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 your good offices to ensure and facilitate a conducive financial and legal environment that will provide the boost needed for NIWA to achieve its full potentials,” he said.
Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd), the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, said that N2, 163, 692, 734 was appropriated for 2020 while N1,561,001,781 was released. He 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.
Effedua said that most of the projects at the academy were ongoing because of non- completion by the past administration, stating that 99 percent of what was released in 2020 has been utilised. He noted that until all the ongoing projects were completed, no new projects would commence at the academy.
Speaking, Sen. Danjuma Goje, Chairman of the Committee said that the two organisations should give a breakdown of percentage of the ongoing projects to be able to ascertain the level of completion of each projects to avoid seeing the same projects next year.