OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives committee on Works has queried the use of N1billion by the office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, under the Ministry of Power, Work and Housing for the mapping of 2 states.
The revelation was established during the budget defence of the Ministry when the Surveyor’s office presented it’s 2019 appropriation estimates to the committee.
The members of the committee led by Toby Okechukwu (Enugu PDP) faulted the breakdown of mapping in the following states as follows: N324million for Anambra local government areas, N484million for Anambra river basins bodies, as well as mapping of Ebony South senatorial zone for N484million.
The members equally frowned at the increment in the agency’s personnel cost from 2017 to 2018, even as they asked the office to provide the details of employment within the period.
They also had issue with the sum of N1.2billion approved for ground digging in 2018 but increased to N2.4billion in the 2019 budget.
The committee also raised concerns over non-performance of the agency as regards implementation of capital projects and revenue generation.
According to the chairman of the committee: “I think mapping should be a one off thing, it shouldn’t be done perennially. Again, from all indications, not all the money released has been appropriately utilized for these projects.
Responding, the Surveyor General of the Federation, Mr. Ebisintel Awudu said, the office is responsible for mapping of every state for the period of 5 years at least.
But the lawmakers disagreed stressing that, “there is no where in the world where mapping design is this high. Recall that about this time last year you told this committee the same thing of mapping constituencies”, Abubakar Kannike (APC, Kara) said.
On the increment of personnel, Awudu said, the office got approval to employ engineers from level 8 to 10, adding that, the Federal Civil Service commission has been employing staff for the office to about 130 Surveyors.
According to him, “I wrote for 12 surveyors which should come from the states that have international boundaries. The employment of level 12 to 14 Surveyors is on going the office.”
Presenting the 2019 budget earlier, Surveyor Awudu said the personnel cost for 2019 budget is N844,192,327.00 billion, with overhead cost of N225, 000,000, while the capital cost N5, 603, 003,988.00 totaling N6,672,196,315.00 billion.
On the 2018 budget, Awudu said the appropriation for the office was N8.15bn, adding that N3.3 billion was released to the office as the office he said utilized N3.3 billion.