(Kemi Yesufu, ABUJA)
The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committee on Rural Development to investigate the state of projects located in rural areas.
The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion entitled: “Need for Integrated Rural Development in the Country” sponsored by the Oladipupo Adebutu.
Leading the debate on the motion, Adebutu, who is the Chairman of the House committee on Rural Development, expressed disappointment that successive governments, especially at the federal level have continued to pay lip service to rural development.
He said despite the glaring negative effects of the neglect of the part of the country where 75 percent of the Nigerians live, government has allocated a negligible percentage of the annual budget to rural projects, with little or nothing done to ensure that even these meagerly funded projects are completed.
According to the lawmaker, in 2012 out of the N36 billion budgeted for capital project by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, only an estimated N3.4 billion provided through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) funding for the ministry, which represents about 5.5 percent of the ministry’s budget allocated to developmental projects.
Adebutu further decried the fact that the allocations to rural development hadn’t improved significantly in the last two budgets for 2014 and 2015, saying: “Successive governments have not funded rural development, to adequately cater for the needs of the rural areas and to correct developmental imbalances.”
The House adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.