By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The face-off between the senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator David Umaru, and the Niger State government over the construction of two roads in the state is now over.
The two road projects were located in Minna, the state capital, and Suleja both in the constituency of Senator Umaru.
The senator had sought for and got the approval of the federal government for the construction of the roads under the constituency project policy because of their state of dilapidation and allegedly embarked on the job without seeking the approval of the state government.
The state government through its Ministry of Works placed a “stop work” order on the project sites since “we did not know who is doing the work”.
The Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, said in MinnaÂ on TuesdayÂ that: “The state was not carried along before the commencement of the job.”
“Normal procedure was not followed. It will amount to negligence of duty if we allow the job to continue,” Balarabe said, adding that the ministry did not know the specification of the job, its cost and duration for its completion.
However, the commissioner said the senator had officially written to the ministry describing the whole incident “as an oversight”, pointing out that “we have therefore removed the stop work order.”
Balarabe said the government however had problem with the specification of the projects, “which is surface dressing whereas the policy of government as far as township roads are concerned is for asphalt overlay”.
“We budgeted N900 million for one of the roads this year but the federal government wants to spend N20 million” the commissioner said.
Balarabe said the state government would continue with the job from wherever point the federal government stopped.