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Monday, 26 September 2016

Why We Have Problems: Buhari Inherited N1.5tn Debt On Road Contracts – Fashola

The federal government is releasing money to contractors, which naturally should help in great ways to improve the poor economy, but sadly the money is not taking contractors to working sites. They were being owed by the federal government before the coming of the Buhari administration.

So, even as government pay them Billions, it's just to clear old debts. That's why we have problems.

Below is how Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, captured the issues:
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited road contractual liabilities of N1.5tn

Fashola said the ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, but added that it had now developed a road map consisting of identifying and prioritising heavy traffic bearing roads for conveying essential goods and services across the country.

He said, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports; roads that drive our energy for now; roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from the South to the North; and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos to Ibadan, to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano, and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, and Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made because this is a period of hard choices, trying to do more with less.”

Fashola added, “Those are the choices that we have made; they are not esoteric choices, they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on had been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration – over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads; so, where you put your limited resources is in those areas.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5tn and this administration is taking them in batches, starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country.”

The minister also said Nigeria lost more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the activities of vandals in the last six months.

He attributed the loss of over 3,000mw to consistent vandalism and sabotage of oil and gas assets.