From Jonas Ike, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance two critical stakeholders were absent on Thursday as the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Projects on Communications began public hearing on the matter at the National Assembly.
However, the Nigeria Postal Service NIPOST, National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA, Nigeria Communications Satellite NIGCOMSAT and other invited stakeholders were present and the hearing.
The Nigerian Postal Service NIPOST in a memorandum to the committee said that the agency has 162 abandoned building projects across the lenght and breadth of the country.
The Acting Postmaster General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the agency Mrs Egbesila Oluwatoyin told the committee that NIPOST has 2000 public building projects in parts of the country out of which 163 has been abandoned.
She told the lawmakers that the defunct P&T which was unbudled in 1985 by government and was what gave birth to NIPOST and defunct Nigeria Telecommunications Plc NITEL.
She noted that most of the properties of the defunct NITEL were sold off due to privatization and commercialization policy of the federal government at that time.
She also told the committee that most of the abandoned building projects by the agency was due to lack of funding in the previous budgets of the agency
In response, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee Committee Chairman Honn Chukuwma Umoeoji and other lawmakers called on the agency to convert some of the abandoned projects into public hospitals.
One of the lawmakers Hon. Henry Nwawuba noted that NIPOST has the highest number of facilities compared to any other public entity or establishment.