Ahmed Bobboi Giant Strides at PEF Record Time
Kindly tell us your name and designation? My name is Ahmed Bobboi, the Executive secretary, Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board. So what is your assessment of the on-going Petroleum Equalization Fund Projects across the North-Eastern part of Nigeria? From what I have seen and the reports received, the projects are progressing steadily and some of the projects have been winded up and delivered.
One of our intervention projects was implemented and handed over today at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. I just received the votes confirming that the projects have been handed over to the Management and the Board of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Maiduguri and have already started utilizing the projects. In Yola, at the Federal Medical Centre, many on-going projects. The feedback I have been getting about the projects is encouraging. Some contractors that left the site for lack of remuneration have returned and continued with the projects after receiving the last trench of their Payment.
In Jalingo the same thing, the Federal Medical Centre Jalingo, the projects are progressing encouragingly. The supervisors of the Projects and the management consultants are happy with the quality of the on-going work. The College of Education in Damaturu, Yobe State have taken the delivery of vehicles directed to them through the projects.
The vehicles are in use Yobe State, Taraba State and Bornu State Civil Defense have also received their operation vehicles and the vehicles are being utilized. We also have Agricultural Projects, the animal husbandry aspect, a part of it have been concluded. Several beneficiaries are beginning to see the dividends of the projects. The tree planting projects have progressed to a large extent, but because of the partial drought we experienced last year, we will revisit the projects and see how we can replant some of the trees that did not survive.
In Jalingo and other Local Government Areas, health and educational projects are on-going, most of the projects are close to completion, and will soon be handed over to the end-users. In Donga, the Schools and Health Centres built were completed since last year, and are waiting to be commissioned. We would carry out an inspection visit to all the construction sites to ensure all the projects are properly executed, especially the projects that have been completed. We will ensure that the standards we all have agreed on, are met.
The Management Consultants have been carrying out inspections on all the projects and are happy with most of the quality execution of the projects especially the completed projects. The projects at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi and Jimeta Yola are under completion, finishing touches are what is left for it to be winded up. In Gwoza Borno State, because of the insecurity situation, we are not able to go there immediately, but we are monitoring the situation reports and developments there, as soon as it is safe we will also go and access the projects to see the situation the projects are in. The health centres in Adamawa and Taraba State are particularly impressive.
I was informed yesterday that one of the Health Centres in Pariya is almost winded up, the development is satisfactory and encouraging. We are delighted with it. Most of these projects you mentioned Are there plans to replicate these projects to other regions in Nigeria? If you remember clearly, these projects came about under the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiatives (PCNI) was remodelled to the North-East Development Commission (NEDC). The mandate of the PCNI is to intervene in the North-East, to rebuild destroyed structures which suffered from the attacks in the Boko-Haram and other insurgencies. If the Government decides to intervene in other regions, yes, we will look into our resources and see how they fit and how relevant they are. We will go on and intervene because it is a regional project.
It is up to the Federal Government to decide another region that should receive an intervention. I can assure you that we will use our experience in the North East to do the same in the other Regions when the Government ask us to do so if our resources permit it. Can we talk about the synergy and collaboration between PEF and the PCNI or NEDC, how and what brought about the partnership, give us an insight? In a nutshell, whatever PEF does, we want to leave an indelible mark. Whatever projects we carry out, we want those projects to speak for us. Just as we do our routine projects the bridging equalization that we are doing is already speaking for us in PEF.
Anything that PEF does is approached with all seriousness and honesty of purpose. I think that is what PCNI now known as NEDC saw in us. We persistently insist on maintaining the quality and standards when it comes to our work. We are constantly ensuring the quality, timeliness for the benefits of the people or the end-users. Our projects in the North-East are people-oriented projects. The PEF mandates are to ensure a social-eco Ahmed A. Bobboi, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board monic investment.
We do these things to find positive benefits and youthful results. We insisted that PCNI must follow due process during the implementation of PEF projects. People see what we have done, and commend our good work. The quality is top-notch and the process we followed is in line with the Government laid-down procedures. With this understanding we have from the beginning, I think most of these project has earned us respect from the PCNI.
We insist that we must follow a process before payments are made, there must be confirmation that the work has been properly done, according to specifications and agreed standard. I think it is very essential to deliver a properly done project, otherwise, we obviously won’t earn any respect from PCNI and the beneficiaries of the projects.
Now there is agitation from other regions of the country, for the PEF to intervene in their regions. This agitation comes particularly from the Legislators, Senators, Members of the House, Governors. They have been writing to PEF to come and do the same work in their regions. I tell you nobody wants to be associated with a bad name.
They have probably seen good things about what we have done. So I think this is probably the main reason for the synergy and the mutual respect between PEF and all the stakeholders including Contractors, Consultants and projects managers. Obviously, in a project that is as huge as this, there may be areas where you disagree or have different opinions but the most important thing is not the difficulties or the challenges you have to deal with.
Rather, how you resolve these difficulties or challenges are very important. We resolve these issues or challenge professionally and objectively whenever they arise. There are lots of challenges, but proper management and resolution have helped us. agreed on, are met. Credit: AccessNews Files Apart from the on-going projects in the North-East, what other goals or CSR should Nigerians be on the lookout for in 2021 and beyond? Before we commence the new batch of projects, we want to conclude these projects that we already have. For the year 2021, we want to focus on delivering all the on-going projects.
Some projects were implemented and delivered last year. In the next few months, we would be concluding projects and handing over. When the implementation of all the projects is achieved, we can look forward to the next intervention projects. At the moment we are handling these particular projects which are very important to this Government.
There are on-going bridges and road projects in Niger Delta, we have already started the process because we have collected what we call Marine Transportation Allowance (MTA). This allowance is for the compensation of marketing companies that move petrol products, particularly in the Niger Delta region.
The Marketing companies use the boat in the river through the grids to deliver petrol products. We pay them because of the difficulty in the terrane in the Niger Delta. It is becoming exorbitant to transport products through grids. So we are making efforts to construct roads which are cheaper to manage so that marketers in the Niger Delta region will have access to these roads to transport petroleum products to their outlets.
Usually, road transportation rates are more affordable than a Marine means of transportation. We also intend to do a project in Bayelsa state, Ahmed Bobboi drawing board and we are seeking all approval through the due processes. We are far gone in the process. When the deliveries of these other projects are achieved, we will consider doing more.
Our North-East projects also include installations of equipment, these buildings already have wonderful equipment which is reliable and built to last and manufactured abroad. We are careful with the purchase and installation of these quality pieces of equipment. We will ensure proper maintenance to serve the country very well, that is our aim. With all the on-going agitations from some stakeholders who are trying to key into these projects, how are you going to harness these agitations and gives these individuals what they are requesting, for their different Senatorial Districts and Constituencies?
If we have the resources, why not give everybody what they are agitating for? But then we have a mandate which is very clear on the things we should do. When we have a Presidential mandate like in the North-East, we will look for the resources and do it, because PEF is trying to transform into a new infrastructural development agency. The experience we have gathered with projects in the North-Est and South-South will come to bear when such challenges come up. These Senatorial Districts asking for interventions have their standards and more projects that are included in the National Budget.
But what we are doing now is an exceptional intervention because of the depredation that happened in the North-East. We are not praying for similar things to happen in any other region because we are praying for peace, stability and development. When there is peaceful co-existence people want infrastructural development. PEF is ever ready to carry out these mandates when the Government gives us the go-ahead to do it and the resources available.