Saraki in his remark during the plenary session in the legislative chamber on a motion titled “Abandonment of Projects : A Menace to Development in Nigeria” sponsored by Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North) said if the Senate Committees on National Security and Intelligence as well as the one on Defence had performed their constitutional roles in monitoring and investigating how funds allocated to that sensitive area had been utilised, the nation will not be witnessing the mind-boggling stories that are coming out.
He further charged Committees of the upper chamber to take their duties more seriously to prevent the high rate of abandoned projects and fraudulent tendencies of government officials.
Commenting further on the problem of abandoned projects in the country, Saraki said the Senate cannot but take part of the blame for any abandoned project since they have been empowered by the constitution to oversight monies appropriated for the projects
He said: “I want to thank you very much for your contributions that we have had during this debate but really, distinguished colleagues, I think we have shied away today from one of the main reasons because funds for some of the projects are duly appropriated in the budget before they are embarked upon by various ministries and agencies. This motion, whether we like it or not, is a partial indictment on us in the National Assembly.
We must accept that, because these projects that we are talking about under Section 88 of the Constitution, 1(a) (b) it is our responsibility to exercise oversight functions on them to ensure they are not abandoned and to ensure that the funds appropriated for their execution are properly utilised.
“I want us to make a difference. We should really perform our oversight functions diligently. We will put a system in place where we will be asking the committees to give us periodic situation report on their functions and the oversight that they are doing so that this negative development of abandoned projects will be a thing of the past.