Akpabio laments over N359b spent on East-West Road without frittered result
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, yesterday, disclosed that over N359 billion has so far been expended on the 657km dual carriage East-West Road.
He, however, noted that the road, which stretches from Calabar in Cross River State to Effurun in Delta State, has not met desired expectations since it was begun in 2006.
Akpabio said bearing in mind the objectives of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on completion of ongoing projects, the ministry was considering raising funds from other sources to ensure Section I-IV of the road is finished before the end of the administration.
The minister stated this on Tuesday during the ministry’s 2021 budget performance review and 2022 proposed budget consideration to the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.
Akpabio recalled that the ministry was created to implement policies for the development of the Niger Delta Region. He noted that the preparation of the ministry’s budget was conceived in line with the Federal Government’s 2022 Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability, premised on repositioning the economy on the path of growth and resilience.
He presented a total budget proposal of N28,131,295,396 comprising: personnel N1,692,591,184; overhead N877,089,120; and capital N25,561,615,092.
He said: “The 2022 budgetary allocation is meagre and significantly inadequate in the face of the mandate and goals of the ministry to meet yearnings and aspirations of the people. The volume of outstanding liabilities with underfunding has affected ongoing projects of the ministry across the region, and this is gradually contributing to the resurgence of problems in some areas of the region.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Essien Ekpeyong, assured that the Assembly is committed to the security of lives and investments in the region. He promised that the proposal would be given due attention in line with the 2021 budgetary review.
The Chairman said there was a need for the executive and legislature to work together to ensure that thousands of uncompleted projects scattered across the region are completed.