The Federal Government has paid about N700bn out of the N2.1tn liabilities for the construction of 206 road projects across the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
Although the minister was not specific if it was the present government that paid the sum, he, however, explained that out of the N300bn already released by the Federal Government since the 2016 budget was signed into law, his ministry received N102bn.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello, on Wednesday, Fashola stated that the N102bn that his ministry got “has been described as a lion’s share of the N300bn.”
“But it is a lion’s share against our realities and the realities are that we inherited 206 roads under construction and the liabilities for those roads were in the region of N2.1tn,” he added, pointing out that the government had paid about N700bn of the amount.
Fashola also stated that as of July this year, N70bn had been paid out to contractors, project managers and consultants for roads and bridges, adding that with the payment, the various contractors had since returned to site.
He listed the road projects where the contractors had returned to site to include the Kano-Katsina Road, Kano-Maiduguri Road, Ilorin-Jebba Road, Loko-Oweto Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Port Harcourt-Enugu Road, among others.
In the power sector, Fashola said with the money available, the ministry was working to complete the 215 megawatts Kaduna Power Plant, the transmission line for the Gurara 40MW plant, and the Kashimbilla plant, adding that it was also remobilising contractors back to the various transmission sites.
Recommending fiscal spending as a way out of the current recession, the minister described the 2016 budget size as ambitious, adding that an increased budgetary size would enable the administration to fund the various capital projects that would impact on the livelihood of the populace.