Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has declared that budget funding gaps worked against completion of roads projects in the country in the last four years.
This is even as the Federal Executive Council presided by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja during the week approved N8.2bn for the completion and construction of four roads across the country.
Fashola made this disclosure while responding to questions on the poor state of roads in the country against the series of approvals given by the FEC in the last dispensation.
Revealing that not all the over N300bn budgeted was released, he lamented that he was yet to get any money since he was reappointed as minister, due to paperwork still going on.
He explained that some of the road works going on were based on goodwill.
Stressing that there was criticism against borrowing during his first tenure, the minister said that “community support is also needed” to facilitate construction of roads in the country.
He cited the over N10bn already accruing as compensation on the 2nd Niger Bridge project.
Fashola explained that two of the four approvals were to revise the estimates of the cost to enable contractors to continue work.
He said the Council approved N519m revision of Oba–Nnewi–Okigwe road to cater for changes in the cost of materials as the project was awarded in 2009. The contract sum was revised from N3.7bn to N4.3bn.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented four memorandums today and two of them were for approval to revise estimates of costs so that the contractors can continue works,” he said.
According to the minister, the second contract that has a revision of estimate is that of the 67-kilometre Alace–Ugep road in Cross River from N9.16bn to N11.22bn.
“Council approved the change of contractor for the Chachangi Bridge linking Takum and Wukari in Taraba State and re-awarded it at the cost of N2.132bn.
“It also approved Katsina-Ala Bridge at the cost of N3.576bn, which include total bridge repairs, changing of expansion joints, changing of bearings and rehabilitation of the 3.2-kilometre access road at Ugbema junction in Benue State,” he added.
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