Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that his ministry is constrained while also appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience.
Speaking with state house correspondents at the end of the federal executive council meeting, Fashola lamented the effect of the raining season on ministries departments and agencies responsible for civil works and road maintenance.
The minister said during his tour in the first quarter, he identified 61 critical intervention spots across the country “but we did not get the budgetary support to make that intervention”.
“First, I want to sincerely empathise with commuters using the roads at this moment,” he said.
“We have seen what is happening on a global scale. We had made some plans to forestall this kind of things. We identified 61 critical intervention spots across the country following my tour in the first quarter but we did not get the budgetary support to make that intervention. So we are constrained.
“You will remember I had also spoken on the need for a contingency fund but even if we had the cash, if there is no appropriation, you can’t spend the money and you can’t anticipate and detail in advance of your current where these emergencies will happen. But I assure you that we are responding on a case-by-case basis.
“You will see our response. Our contractors have been notified so we urge the citizens to bear with us and also know that this government came to power on the basis of a commitment to end impunity, to end corruption. So, we must do things according to process and according to law.”
He also spoke on the total contract sum for the Mambilla power project and the role that the government will play in the project.
“You will recall that sometimes last year, the Chinese government held a summit in South Africa, essentially what that was about was supporting and partnering with African government to do their infrastructure and also funding the Agurua projects, so this was one of the projects of infrastructure that was submitted there and I think it also had the rail component,” he said.
“The money is coming from the Chinese government through their Exim bank, so is an export funding support for them and an import fir us. 85 percent is supposed to be financed by them and 15 per cent is our own counterpart funding. The award now triggers contract negotiations for the financing side and after that is concluded the projects can now start.”
The minister said the project was designed to deliver 3,050 megawatts of power and that the productive output would also function for water supply.