By Esindu Jacobs
Thep Anambra state lawmakers will invite the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwuba, over 1.5 billion naira loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN .
Governor Willie Obiano, applied and obtained the loan for the sole purpose of fish and rice farming in some local government areas in the State
The State House of Assembly Committee on Economic Planning , sustainable Development Goals and Donor Agencies, revealed this yesterday
The Committee expressed worry over the poor level of work done by contractors handling the construction of six hundred fish ponds , hostel blocks and farm houses in Aguleri and Adazi Nnukwu communities respectively
To this end the committee said it may be inviting the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba to appear before the State Assembly to explain how his ministry expended the agricultural loan received in 2020.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ebele Ejiofor, spoke shortly after he led other members of the committee to oversight some of the projects awarded by the state government.
The lawmakers, also, threatened to call for the revocation of the contracts following the slow pace and quality of work done in the two communities visited.
The Contracts were awarded through the state ministry of Agriculture for the construction of three hundred fish ponds in Adazi Nnukwu in Anaocha local government area to the tune of 75.2m naira and another three hundred fish ponds in Aguleri, Anambra East local government area to the same amount
Also, Contract was equally awarded for the construction of 50 bed capacity hostel each in Aguleri and Adazi Nnukwu communities to the tune of 100.3m naira .
Farm houses , entrance gates, perimeter fencing, and generator houses were also awarded for the two communities with a total amount of 100.2m naira
A document made available to the House committee by the Ministry of Agriculture, also showed that 41.7m naira was awarded for the construction of industrial boreholes to serve the two fish farm ponds.
Ejiofor, ( member, representing Anaocha constituency 1) and his Committee, after visiting the project sites expressed displeasure over the work on ground which he said was not commiserate with the amount so far released to the firms.
He regretted that the sum of 300.2m naira had been paid to contractors , out of 510.3m naira being total sum of the projects in Aguleri and Adazi Nnukwu communities respectively
“This is a total failure, there is nothing to show that this amount of money has been released. Look at Adazi Nnukwu site, only one 150 fish ponds have been done and not properly done
“The work is not durable,they are using red mud to plaster walls of the generating house while that of Aguleri fifty bed hostel is still at foundation, and yet millions of naira have been released as claimed by the Commissioner for Agriculture .
“I think we will invite him to come and explain how such amount will be released with little or nothing to show on ground “. Ejiofor said
Another member of the committee Mr Emmanuel Nwafor representing Orumba South constituency, described the quality of work as substandard and called for the revocation of the contract which he said ,was for the interest of the masses.
” From what we have on paper, they said 40.percent of the work had been completed but what we are seeing here , the 300 bed capacity hostel is still under the ground, they have not even come to the DPC level, so I believe the Commissioner for Agriculture should be called to order so that he can answer some certain questions.
” We require the Commissioner to give us details of what has been going on, this project is suppose to have been handed over to the people of Anambra state, but look at where we are ” he said
Mr Chukwudi Okosie , Site Supervisor for CIVIL CREST Engineering Services Ltd, one of the contractors handling the construction of the fish ponds in Aguleri, said he was not aware of the amount of funds received
However, he assured that the project would be delivered in the next four months.
Contract was also awarded for the provision of two 75KVA power Generating sets for the two fish ponds in the communities to the tune of 23m naira .