There was no capital project executed by the Ministry of Works, according to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
This was made known by Fashola on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Works to defend 2018 budget proposed by his ministry.
A member of the committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade had asked why the ministry (Works) had zero performance of capital projects in 2017.
The Minister 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 unable to respond to the question, stating that even the Director of Planning in the ministry could not give a definite answer. He, however, 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.
Continuing, “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.”
After much deliberation, the committee resolved that the projects in 2017, which were not procured, should be rolled over into the 2018 budget and re-presented in the report in a week.
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