Wednesday, January 18, 2023
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BusinessNew report slams agencies running mega projects

New report slams agencies running mega projects

A new disclosure report slammed government agencies running public projects for failing to properly document procurement information for mega projects.

The report, conducted by the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST–Ethiopia), an institution accountable to the Federal Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission, sampled 10 public projects worth billions of birr.  

The Initiative presented the disclosure report of the selected construction projects on November 2, 2021, at Intercontinental hotel.

It identified gaps ranging from project identification and procurement process to their implementation, leading to a surge in cost of construction and waste of taxpayers’ money.

Adey Ababa National Stadium construction project is among the 10 mega projects sampled in the disclosure report.

Even though the second phase of the project has been underway for almost one and half years with 44 percent completed thus far, the initiative noted that the owner of the project has not properly archived procurement documents and blamed them for failing to disclose project information at all stages of the construction process.

Another project facing similar problem is the Nekemte Airfield project, which is located in Oromia Regional State, East Wellega Zone.

The project that includes the construction of airfield elements (runway, taxiway, drainage facilities, and access road) is administered by Ethiopian Airports (EA), which is under the auspice of Ethiopian Airlines. EA has accordingly been criticized for changes in location, design revision and right of way. 

“Our assessment shows that the project has encountered time and cost overrun,” said Zelalem Tesfaye, Assurance professional of the Initiative.

CoST–Ethiopia suggested government agencies and procuring entities develop a national portal for the disclosure of projects.

“The government and procuring entities need to improve the project preparation processes and build capacity within their organizations to provide sound project preparation and procurement services,” Eyasu Yimer, chairperson of the initiative, remarked.  

“That will then prevent the occurrence of many challenges during the implementation and operation phases of the projects,” Eyasu added.

Two years ago, the Auditor General discovered that the mismanagement of 2,000 public projects led to the wastage of 44 billion birr in taxpayers’ money.

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