Works minister laments non-release of N230bn allocation

Posted by News Express | 11 March 2015 | 2,702 times

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Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, yesterday said the non-release of N230 billion budgetary allocation for critical projects has truncated the completion of various road projects across the country.

Of the sum, N219.5 billion is for highway projects, N10 billion is for engineering design and supervision of consultants while N1.2 billion is for weigh bridges, materials and geotechnical contracts.

The minister, who spoke at the 2014/2015 budget defence held at the instance of the House Committee on works, chaired by Rep Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, PDP, Enugu, said the ministry and various parastatals including Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) were incapacitated by the abysmal release of annual budgetary allocation.

According to Onolememen, the sum of N45.682 billion (46.2 percent) was released out of N98.814 billion appropriated for the capital expenditure for the main ministry and parastatals, leaving the balance of N53,131,524,309 as at December 30, 2014.

“it is important to emphasise that the performance of the ministry would have been considerably enhanced if the outstanding budgeted funds of N53,131,524,309 had been released to the ministry. More importantly, if the cumulative outstanding budgeted funds of N203,392,075,947.25 for the period spanning 2011 to 2014 had been released, the total indebtedness would have been brought down from N230bn to N27 b,.” he said.

The minister also revealed that the ministry accessed N93 billion out of the N98 billion appropriated through SURE-P in 2014 fiscal year.

Major road priority projects awarded in 2014 include rehabilitation of Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway section I & II; rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway sections I & II; dualisation of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja sections I, III & IV; dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri sections I-V; dualisation of Suleja-Minna phase I in Niger State; rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos, phase II; rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway sections III & IV; dualisation of Suleja-Minna phase II in Niger state; dualisation of Sapele-Ewu road section I & II and construction of Ikom bridge, Cross River state.

•Adapted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows Onolememen.

Source: News Express

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