The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate the release and utilisation of funds for the construction of the Kaduna Eastern Bypass project, which has been abandoned since 2022 despite several approvals and augmentations.

According to Hussaini Jalo, a Kaduna Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker who moved the motion, the 48-kilometre Kaduna Eastern Bypass was to connect the Kaduna metropolis with the Federal Capital Territory and 11 other states.

He explained that the contract for the road was initially awarded in 2002 to an indigenous firm at the cost of N16bn but it was abandoned.

He said the Federal Government reactivated the project in 2017 and upscaled the cost to N38.19bn, with a completion deadline of 2021.

He added that in 2019, the Federal Executive Council approved N36.5bn as augmentation to the earlier cost for the contract, thereby bringing the total cost to N74.6bn.

However, Jalo said that after the train attack of March 2022, the contractor suspended work on the first section of the road citing security threats.

He said in spite of the huge funds dedicated to the construction of the road and the improvement of security in the area, the project had remained abandoned.

He urged the House to investigate the matter and prompt the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure the completion of the Kaduna Eastern Bypass project.

Punch reported that some residents of Kaduna State expressed their frustration over the delay in completing the project, which they said would ease traffic congestion and boost economic activities in the state.

They also called on the House to ensure that the contractor was held accountable for any breach of contract or misappropriation of funds.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over the plenary, agreed with Jalo and said that the project was vital for the economic development and security of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large.

He said that the House would not tolerate any form of corruption or mismanagement of public funds meant for infrastructural development.

The House mandated its works committee to ensure that all factors frustrating the completion of the project were resolved and the project completed within the shortest time.

The committee was given six weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action.

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