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Why road projects drag — Fashola

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[FILES] Former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. Photo: TWITTER/FMPWH

The immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, says funding is a major factor that limits the completion of strategic road projects across the country.

Fashola said this while responding to questions from senators at the ongoing ministerial screening by the Senate.

He said that the limited budget allocation for the execution of critical infrastructure had resulted in government borrowing from multilateral corporations to fund the budget.

Fashola said that there was the need to explore other means of funding like raising infrastructure bonds up to the tune of N10 trillion where Nigerians could also subscribe to the bond for critical infrastructure in the country.

He also said that there was a need to cash-back the budget to fund critical projects.

Fashola, however, said that in spite of the challenge of funding, his team had left the power, works and housing sectors better than they met it in 2015.

This, he said had resulted in the construction of some critical infrastructure on roads, housing, and power.

He said that the ministry had secured the release of 720 stranded containers containing transmission equipment.

According to him, the equipment has been utilised to improve transmission lines across the country.

The former minister noted that the ministry had made significant efforts on off-grid electricity within the period of his stewardship.

Fashola listed the off-grid electricity executed by the government to include the electrification of Araria and Sura markets.

He said that a clear road map had been established for the electrification of other 350 markets and 37 federal universities using off-grid electricity.

The nominee also said that state governments were empowered by the constitution to generate, transmit and distribute power.

He explained further that there was the need for all stakeholders to support the regulators in the ministries to fully enforce the provision of the law in the discharge of their duties

In the road sector, Fashola said that the ministry was involved in the construction, rehabilitation of roads in the 36 states of the federation.

He also said that the construction of affordable housing projects was ongoing in 34 states, noting that some of the houses had been completed.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashola, who was questioned by senators on issues of power, works and housing sectors for almost an hour, was later asked to take a bow.

Sen. Oluremu Tunubu, (APC-Lagos,) in her submission, urged the nominee to ensure the allocation of employment slots to senators for their constituents when he eventually became a minister.

President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan in his submission, said there was the urgent need to evolve a comprehensive approach to raise funds for critical infrastructure in the country.


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