Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola announced that there will be no refund any longer to states that repair federal roads. That the states should concentrate on state roads. He announced the paradigm shift in federal-state relations on Thursday, October 10th as he defended the budget of the works component of his ministry before the Works Committee of the House of Representative.
“When we came in, we inherited quite a number of such debts from states which repaired federal roads and asked for refunds. The President directed that we pay all those that were approved by the previous government. “He also directed that states should concentrate on their own roads and that states can only get involved in federal roads if they are repairing them and not coming back for refund ” he said.
Fashola also complained that the N157 billion capital budgetary allocation to his ministry is too little and not enough to pay contractors for finished jobs. He said the Ministry needs N306 billion to pay contractors for jobs already done as N2.98 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under multilateral funded projects.
He said there are about 524 ongoing road projects across the country with four multilateral funded road projects, 81 roads under Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) and 45 others being funded under the “Sukuk bond” all by the Federal Government. The minister said N255 billion was needed to fund some of the major roads and he also said that the ministry was focusing on roads that help to open up the economy and make the doing of business easier and less cumbersome.
Fashola, the Minister for works and housing listed some of the projects under the PIDF to include the Abuja -Kaduna-Zaria- Kano road, the second Niger Bridge, Lagos -Ibadan express way, Mambilla Hydro Project and the East -West road.