….Says compensation on 2nd Niger Bridge hits N10 billion
….As FEC approves N8.2bn for roads projects
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
MINISTER of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday said that non-release of all budgetary allocations and unreasonable compensation demands by host communities were the key challenges facing government in fixing the deplorable roads across the country in the last four years.
The Minister stated this while fielding questions from the State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber Presidential Villa Abuja.
The Minister, flanked by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Youth and Sports Department, Mr. Sunday Dare briefed journalists after the FEC meeting.
Answering question on the poor state of roads in the country against the series of approvals given by the FEC in the first tenure, Fashola also said that not all the over N300 billion budgeted was released.
According to him, his office is yet to get any money since he got reappointed as minister as there were still paper work processes going on.
Fashola explained that some of the road works going on were based on goodwill, adding that there have been criticisms against borrowing during the first tenure.
He said community support was also needed to facilitate construction of road projects in the country, stressing that over N10 billion was already accruing as compensation on the Second Niger Bridge.
The Minister also disclosed that the FEC approved a total of N8.2 billion for roads projects on Wednesday.
The Minister said FEC approved upward variation of contract costs for the rehabilitation and construction of some roads and bridges in Anambra, Kano and Benue States.