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…Says ESP projects executed by FG

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has debunked allegations by a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Etsako Federal Constituency, Hon Johnson Oghuma that he appropriated some of his constituency projects.

Reacting to Hon Oghuma’s allegations that some projects in Edo state like Iviukhua, Iviebua, Iviegbepui, Ivianokpodi and Ivoghe rural roads in Edo North are his constituency projects, the minister said they are all projects executed under the Federal government Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP.

In a statement by Special Assistant (Media) to Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Sufuyan Ojeifo, the Minister stressed that Hon. Oghuma would appear to be attempting a rewrite of the story of how the Federal Government approved N34 billion for the construction of rural roads under the ESP.

According to the Minister, “the ESP is a direct and proactive response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the plan has been designed to prevent post-harvest losses, among other negative impacts.

“The Federal Government had approved the construction of 377 rural roads in 266 communities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along agro-corridors.

“The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning is inspecting these rural road projects in line with the requirements of the National Monitoring and Evaluation (NM&E) mandate of his ministry.

“The minister inspected the construction works on the affected roads in Edo State to assess progress achieved.

“He had also inspected the progress of construction works on a number of other rural roads in Imo State (3.5km asphaltic rural road project in Umucheke, Okwe in Onuimo Local Government Area) and Enugu State (7.5km Nsukka-Lejja-Igbo-Etiti road).

“Hospitals in Nassarawa and the FCT have also been inspected by the Minister as part of the ESP monitoring and evaluation.”

Prince Agba reiterated for the avoidance of doubt that there are no constituency projects in the ESP.

“We advise that next time around, Hon. Oghuma does his homework properly, so he does not run the risk of misinforming the reading public.”

Prince Agba also advised that all elected and appointed office holders join hands and cooperate with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, in its determination to rejig the economy and take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.

“This is a task that requires all hands to be on deck.”

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