Senate seeks bailout to offset Works Ministry’s N420bn debt

Senate seeks bailout to offset Works Ministry’s N420bn debt

The Senate Committee on Works has expressed readiness to collaborate with the executive arm of government for an emergency fund to clear the N420 billion owed to contractors by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on road projects constructed across the country.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Adamu Aliero stated this on Friday when the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola appeared before the committee for the 2022 budget defence of his ministry.

Senator Aliero said that the emergency fund to clear the debt incurred by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the already executed contracts has become necessary for continuity of road projects being constructed across the six geo-political zones of the country.

He, therefore, assured the minister that the National Assembly would intervene for raising the =N=420billion owed contractors.

“Honourable Minister, for us in this committee and by extension, the Senate, the tempo should be sustained in presenting concrete things to Nigerians in 2023 for the purpose of election.

“We shall from this end collaborate with the executive for emergency fund to clear the N420 billion liability as required motivation for key players in the sector to do more,” the Chairman stressed.

Mr Fashola told the lawmakers that the total money owed contractors on already completed contracts on road projects is N420 billion.

The liability, he explained, is far above the N350 billion projected for funding of road projects in the 2022 budget.

Aside from the N420 billion outstanding debts owed contractors, Fashola also stressed the need for a N45 billion emergency fund for road repairs on a yearly basis as done in other countries.

“For roads to be in good shape at any time of the year for users, in Britain for example intervention from special fund, is made to put roads in good shape particularly after winter.

“Here in Nigeria, since the raining season is the period roads and bridges used to have problems, fund for emergency fixing of any affected one should be put in place which may be between the radius of N45billion,” the Minister explained.

On the 2022 budget, Fashola said a total of N450billion was proposed for the ministry and its parastatals for capital, overhead and personnel estimates.

According to him, the focus of the 2022 budget proposals of the ministry is on the completion of some priority road projects, especially those on Route A1 – A9.

“These are roads and bridges that lead to ports and major agricultural hubs and carry Heavy goods vehicles across the six geo-political zones,” he said.

The Minister specifically declared that the second Niger Bridge will be completed next year.

Senate seeks bailout to offset Works Ministry’s N420bn debt

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