The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Sunday spoke about his ministry’s efforts on road infrastructure, saying that the Federal Government was owing contractors N336 billion as of July, 2020.
The minister noted that only N27 billion had been released by the Federal Ministry of Finance and that about N162 billion was available through the Sukuk Bond.
Fashola, who spoke during an interview on Arise Television said, “Our debts as of the end of July, our outstanding and unpaid certificates for example were in the area of N336 billion. Now, the release we have from the Ministry of Finance for the second quarter is N27 billion.
“Then we have the Sukuk (which is) N162 billion. So, if you add that up, we are still way behind and more certificates are piling up for work that we haven’t paid.”
According to the former Lagos State governor, the ministry is constructing 44 roads with the N162 billion Sukuk bond.
He said, “When you divide N162bn by 44 roads, what is left? That defines where we are in terms of the funding challenge.”
Fashola said that Aliko Dangote and some other private individuals had utilised the road infrastructure tax credit scheme meant to see the private sector constructing roads in exchange for tax reliefs.
He said projects like the Second Niger Bridge were being undertaking by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.
He also said during the interview that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency had listed about 192 roads for repairs in the next 12 months, adding that 37 bridges were going through maintenance.
“At this moment, for example, FERMA is going to undertake 192 road repairs and maintenance over the next 12 months. They just sent me the implementation plan on Friday last week and they are good to go,” he said.
Fashola, while calling for the return of tollgates on major roads said, “I can’t sit here in judgement over the circumstances that led to the removal of tollgates because I don’t have the full facts on why the government of the day took that decision but in Yoruba and other languages, they say beheading is not the cure of headache.”