Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has confirmed the shocking revelation that the works ministry did not execute a single capital project in 2017.
Fashola confirmed this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Works to defend the 2018 budget proposed by his ministry.
A member of the committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade had asked why the ministry executed zero capital projects in 2017, a development Fashola blamed on the late passage of the 2017 budget.
Fashola said, “The 2017 budget was passed in June. The procurement law requires a procurement plan which took till September. In following this law, the first release was in August. Most of the projects were going through procurement formalities such as tax identity, contract terms, even construction companies went on holidays. So, there were so many things.”
Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, then asked about the amount of projects that were not procured in 2017 since there was a rollover of projects from 2016.
Fashola was however unable to respond to the question, stating that even the Director of Planning in the ministry could not give a definite answer. He then pleaded with the committee to bring a detailed report later.
The minister said, “It is a tough task. We may be allowed to submit those details. The ending solution, which has not been found favourable, is that once you appropriate for a project in a particular budget, it should not be lined up in another year.”
Fashola said the country could not finance new projects every year due to its enormous nature.
He added, “Most of these roads are between 50km and 100km. In your states, 5km (road) takes 24 months. Then if we have more in a budget, we cannot finish them. It is not what we want. Our resources are not increasing in an exponential manner, compared to our projects.”
The committee then resolved that the projects in 2017, which were not procured, be rolled over into the 2018 budget and re-presented in the report in a week.
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