Fashola Blames Poor State of Roads on Under-funding

Babatunde Raji Fashola
  • FEC approves fresh N8bn for roads

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Thursday in Abuja blamed the horrible state of Nigerian roads and slow reconstruction process on under-funding and under-budgeting.

However, the minister was quick to add that the situation would improve under this administration following the increase in budget for road construction from N18 billion in 2015 to N300 billion at present.

Fielding questions from reporters in the State House after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on horrible state of roads across the country and why many road projects he got approvals for in the last administration were either abandoned or uncompleted, Fashola argued that road construction process is slow because it is not all financial approvals made by FEC that were eventually released.

He also blamed the difficulties faced by contractors on sites as another hurdle, disclosing that residents of local communities stall progress by demanding for compensation.

According to him, N10 billion, for instance, is the total value to be paid as compensation on the construction of second Niger Bridge as he advocated the need for community support for road construction, saying “people who want infrastructure must be willing to sacrifice.”

Fashola also disclosed that FEC approved four memoranda he presented on road projects yesterday, explaining that two of the approvals were meant for the review of contract costs for Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe road in South-east and Alexi-Ugep Road in Cross River State.

“Council approved N519 million revision of contract sum of Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road to cater for change in cost of materials since the project was awarded in 2009. The contract sum was revised from N3.7 to N4.3 billion.

“The second contract that has a revision of estimates is the 67 kilometers Alexi-Ugep Road in Cross River State. Council approved a revision from N9.16 billion to N11.22 billion. The revised cost is N2.052 billion.

“Council approved the change of contractor for the Chachangi Bridge linking Takum and Wukari in Taraba State and was re-awarded at the cost of N2.132 billion. Council also approved Katsina-Ala Bridge at the cost of N3.576 billion, which includes total bridge repairs, changing of expansion joints, changing of bearings and rehabilitation of the 3.2 kilometres access road at Ugbema junction in Benue State,” Fashola said.