Is it a curse or taboo to have committed maintenance culture?
The fact that the country is in for hard time, economically, is no longer news. That Nigeria has become a borrowing nation with hundreds of loans from other countries is also not news to average Nigerians. But the fresh news now is craze for new projects by ruling class at the detriment of maintenance.
Or is it a crime that our political leaders show interest in setting up new projects infrastructure without maintenance of existing ones?
As a result, allcitynews.ng took searchlight on number of abandoned infrastructure while the only focus is borrowing to set up new infrastructure or projects.
If Nigeria continue in borrowing to finance projects that are today littered every part of the country, then when can the country build a financial freedom!
Or Is it a taboo to maintain existing infrastructure?
Appreciatively, Lagos State government is known for continuity and consolidation of projects of past administration. It could however be oversight for the current regime being led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to look away from some projects.
For example: the fencing erected by past governor on major roads are nowadays becoming eyesores. This medium took two months to investigate these.
From Alausa Secretariat to Jibowu, Yaba, from Iyana Ipaja down to Oshodi, from Palm Grove to Ikorodu Garage, and other areas are littered with the barricades that have been damaged by careless vehicles and their drivers.
The recent revelation by experts that there are 56,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria validates the claim of Nigeria’s backwardness.
In August 2021, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, disclosed the existence of this large quantum of uncompleted projects, estimating the cost at N12 trillion, and the figures are still counting.
For instance: the nation’s four refineries can easily be classified as moribund as at today.
Painfully, rather than summoning political and economic will to fix those refineries to 100 per cent installed production, some government officials and some organised bodies who are benefiting immensely from the failed system would rather seek for continuation of importation of fuel at the detriment of fixing homemade refineries.
Real reason behind abandoned projects in Nigeria.
Though the Senate tried to enact a law to compel unfinished projects to be completed by successive regime before new ones are set up, yet, the craze to kick start fresh ones, which would fetched billions or trillions of naira into pockets of individuals have continue to dominate the plans of both federal and state governments.
It may no longer be news to industry watchers the lackadaisical attitudes by successive governments both at federal and state levels towards abandoned projects.
But corruption and egoism have been identified as reasons for abandonment of projects.
As the number of such projects keep rising on monthly basis from federal to state level well-meaning Nigerians have started showing much concern.
Don’t other African countries have public infrastructure? Should everything be sold as scrap or waste materials into private hands before they can prosper?
Stakeholders called on Senate to make it a punishable offence for any abandonment of any projects to save the country from further wastage.
“Unless Senate enact a law to compel governments and political office holders to finish any leftover projects by past regime, before new ones can started, then Nigeria will continue to move around in circle.
Lawmakers should make it mandatory for successors to finish projects left behind by predecessors irrespective of political party in power.”
Stakeholders blamed zero interest in maintenance culture by concerned authorities for reason for wasted projects.
Speaking with allcitynews.ng, they cited some reasons why most government and political office holders rarely have interest in maintenance.
According to them, such people only embark on projects which can only create rooms for them to pocket some amounts of fund into their personal pulses.
As a result, they hardly think of completion of projects left behind by past administrations or maintaining old and existing projects since there may not be heavy allocation of fund for such which would give them opportunity to enrich themselves.
The stakeholders believed that the main reason why there are abandonment and uncompleted projects could be tied to self-interest. “Since maintenance of existing projects or completion of uncompleted projects would not give much room to siphon money into their pockets, so they would not show much interest in what may not create kickbacks for them.”
For example: Comrade Israel Modibo said “Because completing uncompleted structures or maintenance of old or new structures will not allow them to make huge amount of fund into their personal pockets, government officials and political office holders who are only interested in where they can get extra money for themselves often feign ignorance of abandoned projects.”
For Comrade (Mrs) Aisha Badamusi, “Both federal, state governments and political offices are not willing to build on what someone else had started. They want what can be called after their names. Though they may not finish such projects during the tenure of their office, yet, they don’t want to finished projects left behind by the past regime.
“Constructing a new office block may cost N10 million. Whereas it may cost N500, 000 to repair such building. Their selfish ambition to have a projects named after them often push them to start new projects.”
On his own remark, Prince Akinjo Olufemi said, “the craze to make quick money often make government officials and politicians to start new structure even though they may not complete such within their term in office. Whereas incoming regime who ordinarily should have started from where the predecessor’s stopped will start a new one which they think will bring glory to his/her name at the detriment of solid infrastructural developments for the country.
-Billboard at Berger now a shadow of itself
Also, Comrade Aliu Mohammed in his observatory remark identified pride, egoism, corruption and dearth of patriotism as reasons for abandonment of projects. “Though they are aware that tenure of their office would not give them grace to finish such projects, yet, they commence in such projects because they believe that the projects would bear their names. Another reason is corruption, they are not showing interest in taking care of what others have started because fund that would be allocated for such may not allow them to enrich their pockets. It may cost N20 million to start a new project, while it can only take N2 million to maintain such project. Another reason is difference in political party. The person from another political platform often will not like to start on a project left behind by an opponent in order not to give the glory to the past office holder.
For instance, a man, Mr Aka from APC will not like to complete a project left behind by PDP, Mr. Abayo, simply to avoid giving glory to that Abayo.”
Another one almost turning to abandoned project is the LEDBILLBOARD at Berger. It is now an ordinary structure.
The LEDbillboard with various video clips which normally welcome people into Lagos State erected at Ojodu Berger have stopped working. For the nine months it has not worked. If care is not taken, that too may join the number of abandoned public property. That LED billboard most likely belongs to Lagos State government.
Another typical example is the building used to be called Elephant House. That structure is situated at ASSBIFI road, Alausa, Lagos Secretariat. It is gradually turning into game reserve because bush is taking over the premises.
Former Cement House, Alausa
Writing on these wastages caused by governments and its agencies became imperative as Nigeria keep borrowing from international communities to set up new projects whereas existing ones are being neglected.
The planned metroline around Marina, Lagos. Work in this seems to have stopped
The main objective of this writing is not to blame any organ of government or political class, but to remind organs of government and political class of the need to intensify efforts toward maintenance of public utilities. It would be a mirage to embark on any new infrastructural development without inclusion of maintenance to such plan.
Despite cash crunched affecting the economy, notwithstanding large army of unemployed Nigerians, in spite of skyrocketing price of building materials are in dire need of habitable places.
Worrisome that some Nigerians are in dire need of comfortable accommodation, allowing public infrastructure to rot away by any administration would be unjustifiable.
Another area is the former Federal Secretariat, Obalende, Lagos.
This place is wasting away and becoming home to all forms of rodents. That place has now turned to forest.
-former elephant house at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
Likewise, the former NITEL office at Iponri, Surulere, Lagos State is another infrastructure wasting project.
See what is left out of the 30 planes
Hitherto, where is Nigeria Airways? Until Nigeria Airways is revived to life, it is considered one of abandoned projects.
Surprisingly, months after set up of investigation team by House of Representatives to look into abandoned projects, it is not yet sign of light at the end of the tunnel because there seems no tangible results to tackle wastages of public infrastructures, and the number of such abandoned projects are increasing on monthly basis. Will that committee come out with reliable data and recommendations as to solve the problems of abandoned projects which are giving some well-meaning Nigerians concerned?
-what is happening to this?
A system can be said to be corrupt when drivers of the economy believe that before any file should leave his / her desk in office something must be dropped. A system is corrupt when patriotism is thrown overboard by individuals at the urge for personal gains.
A country is corrupt when self-interest is the ultimate reason for seeking political office at the altar of good governance.