THE House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources has called for more budgetary allocation in the 2019 Appropriation Bill for Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA), Abeokuta, to enable the government agency delivered its core mandate to the people.
This call was made by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Haman Pategi,while speaking with journalists at the end of a fact-finding mission and oversight function visit to the agency, last Tuesday.
Pategi noted that OORBDA is one of the least funded river basins out of the 12 spread across the country, saying that the agency have several agricultural engagements and thereby require more funding to maintain them.
He said, “This River Basin is one of the least funded out of the 12 in the year under review. You know that the envelope budget system in Nigeria is so paltry. The River Basins hat have assets domiciled in them such as several irrigations, dams to maintain and so many agricultural engagements were given below a billion naira a year.
“For what they have been given and what we have seen here today, we are encouraged for running this River Basin professionally, but beyond this, this River Basin requires extra funding.”
However, the committee frowned at the alleged selective implementation of budget by the Ministry of Water Resources and management of River Basin Authorities across the country.
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The committee expressed displeasure that most of the river basins in the country engaged in selective tendering which is against the Procurement Act.
Pategi said that the committee were mandated to visit OORBDA following a motion raised on the floor of the House on a fact finding mission over alleged selective implementation of budget by the Ministry and its agencies.
The chairman said the River Basins managements received instructions from the Minister of Water Resources on projects to be executed without appropriately following the Procurement Act.
He therefore said that any River Basins found guilty of any infractions would not received allocation for lack of performance.
“At the last exercise of the Ministry engagements ,we told them that we heard that there is going to be selective implementation of the budget of the Water Resources ministry and they denied it. We told them that on no account should they engage in it.
“This has been done by OORBDA and we have told them that they don’t have the right to do so,” he added.
Pategi charged the management of OORBDA to explore all mechanisms in boosting its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
In his remarks, the OORBDA Managing Director, Engr. Olufemi Odumosu, identified inadequate funding and uncooperative attitudes of governments hosting the facilities of the agency as few of the challenges confronting it.
Odumosu called for more allocation in the 2019 budget so as to enable the agency to meet its core mandate.