The Imo State House of Assembly has made it mandatory that before a contractor handling any government project is fully paid, the Accountant General of the state must seek advice from the lawmakers. This is to avoid situations in the past where contractors were fully mobilized by the government but failed to deliver the projects as specified or abandoned them uncompleted.
At the plenary sitting of the house on Wednesday ( 13th May) the lawmaker representing Ideato South State Constituency, Hon Engr Johnson Iheanukara Duru had, in “a Motion for Urgent Monitoring and Evaluation of Ongoing Projects in Imo State to Avert Substandardly and Abandonment”, called for the setting up of the ad-hoc committee to ensure that lawmakers effectively carry out their oversight functions in projects monitoring and evaluation. This, he said, will ensure that government projects are of standard and are fully completed for the benefits of the people for whom the projects are meant, adding that the people of Imo State have the right to enjoy the infrastructural facilities provided by the government through the public fund. He stressed the need to make sure that contractors who handle public projects in Imo State have qualified personnel to execute them and that, in doing this, it has to be as specified by the government for the common good of Imolites.
Also in the motion, Hon Duru made it mandatory for the Accountant General of Imo State to always seek and take advice from the lawmakers before fully paying off contractors. This, he said, will ensure that contractors fully carry out their projects as specified by the government. The motion was seconded by Rt Hon Uju Onwudiwe who represents Njaba.
A good number of lawmakers contributed in support of the motion. The Chairman, House Committee on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon Ekene Nnodumele Fredaline, in supporting the motion said that lawmakers in his committee have observed that most contractors in Imo State in the past have collected money from the government without executing the projects.
Also, Hon Chigozie Nwaneri from Oru East observed that most road projects constructed by some contractors in the recent past have suddenly become bad as a result of the lack of monitoring and evaluation while Hon Kennedy Ibe who represents the Obowo State Constituency described the motion as very important and of urgent attention. Other lawmakers who also rose to speak in support of the motion include Hon Paul Emeziem (Onuimo) who said that monitoring and evaluation of projects is a function of the lawmakers, and Hon Chidiebere Samuel (Okigwe) who said that there is need for a change as contractors in the past have been carrying out projects poorly.
The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chiji Collins, seeing that the lawmakers adopted the motion, then set up an Adhoc committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Speaker, Hon Amarachi Chyna Iwuanyanwu, to monitor and evaluate government projects. Other members of the committee include Hon Johnson Duru Iheanukara, Hon Emeka Nduka, Hon Philip Ejiogu, Hon Chigozie Nwaneri, Hon Ekene Nnodumele and Hon Kennedy Ibe.