Condition of Roads: I was Misquoted, Says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola at the weekend, said he was misquoted on the claim that federal roads were not as deplorable as the public portrayed them.

He maintained that he did not use the word ‘exaggeration’.

This is coming as the  Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Mr Abdulfatai Buhari has said that Fashola couldn’t have said Nigerian roads are not in deplorable conditions.

The minister made the clarification in Ilara- Mokin, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State while commissioning the privately-funded four township roads executed by Chairman,Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo.

It would be recalled that the minister had on Wednesday in Abuja at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting said Nigeria’s road surfaces were not as deplorable as the public have made them to be.

Fashola who said contrary to insinuations on social media, he had travelled round the country on roads to access condition of federal roads, maintained that the federal government would fix its bad roads based on priority list.

The Minister said, “Let me start from the journey by roads to the 36 states, 12 hours everyday, so I know what I saw, and I also said what I wanted to say in that press conference, and thankfully, I must thank your TV Channels, at least, showing the maturity and the professionalism responsibility to play the whole tape, so people can see the context of what I said.”

On PDP’s claim that he should resign and apologise to Nigerians over the comment, Fashola simply said, “I didn’t use the word ‘exaggerated’, I didn’t say that. Please go and listen to what I said, thank you.”

Fashola also reiterated that the federal government would not refund any state that rehabilitates or reconstructs federal roads.

He added that the bill for road refund from state governments was on the high side, amounting to N500 billion.

The minister praised Chief Ade-Ojo for his giant strides, stressing that government cannot do everything and urged Nigerians to emulate the good works of the business expert.

He described him as a great visionary, appreciating his venture into infrastructural development especially on the rehabilitated three roads within the town and Ilara-Ikota road for the benefit of the neighbouring community, which will further unite the two communities.

Ade-Ojo said he was elated that another development effort has been successfully completed.

The founder, Elizabeth University charged other well-meaning Nigerians to give back to their society for posterity sake.

At the occasion were wife of the Governor, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Deji of Akure,Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo and Ajobu of Araromi-Obu,Oba Aderemi Adelola among several others.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Mr Abdulfatai Buhari has said that Fashola couldn’t have said Nigerian roads are not in deplorable conditions.

He added that his recent meeting with the minister in his office showed that Fashola knew and understood that many roads across the country need serious attention.

He said Fashola had presented him with a list of about 3,800 roads across the country that needed urgent attention, but that budgetary approval was only made for 500 roads.

Buhari, who represents Oyo North Senatorial District of Oyo State spoke yesterday while fielding questions from reporters after attending a Thanksgiving Service in honour of Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, representing Ogbomosho North State Constituency.

The service which was held at Masifa Baptist Church, Citadel of Glory, Ogbomoso was attended by dignitaries including ex-Governor Christopher Alao-Akala, Senator Ayo Adeseun, all the members of the state house of Assembly, Dr. Samson Adegoke (Megida), friends and associates of the two-term lawmaker

Speaking on the state of the road, Buhari noted that although Fashola had identified over 3,000 roads for attention, the 500 arrived at was a product of prioritisations and spread across the country.

“The state of our roads is really horrible. If you look at this year’s budget, N260billion has been budgeted for roads in Nigeria, but I must be honest with you, the road so far are deplorable all over the country. From the North, West, East and South, it is horrible. But, the money is not enough to do the job that is prioritise”.