By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN CITY — Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Mustapha Shehuri, has given a marching order to the contractor handling the Auchi – Okene axis of the Benin-Abuja highway, to expedite action on the completion the section awarded to it.
This came as he disclosed that the Federal Government was considering embracing Public Private Partnership, PPP, in road construction in the country.
The minister gave the order while speaking with journalists shortly after inspecting ongoing works at the Benin-Abuja dual carriageway in Edo State.
His words: “In 2015, N45 billion was budgeted for the Federal Ministry of Works for roads and in 2016, N287billion for the ministry
“Government is looking for other sources of funding. That was when the idea of SUKUK came in. And by 2017, in most of the zones, roads were funded through the SUKUK bond.
“And we are not going to stop at that. We are still looking at other sources of funding because the financial of the government to fund all the roads is not there.
“So, we are looking at PPP to take over some of the roads that are viable. That is the global practice all over “
However, inspecting the Auchi-Okene axis of the road, the minister lamented the slow pace of works by the contractor and urged the contractor to ensure speeding completion of the section of that highway.
Explaining the delay on the road construction, the Project Manager, Mother Cat, Mr. Joubran Saadah, said issues bordering on payment of compensation and relocation of structures on right of way among other challenges were responsible.