By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba and the member representing Etsako Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Johnson Oghuma Tuesday engaged in war of words of projects in Etsako which the two are laying claim.
Oghuma said roads linking five communities of Iviukhua, Iviebua, Iviegbepui, Ivianokpodi and Ivoghe which the minister recently inspected were parts of his constituency projects including Ogbona-Ekperi road in Etsako Central, Okugbe-Imiekuri road in Etsako East through NDDC which he said are on-going.
He said the projects were those he influenced into the 2020 budget.
He noted that the roads were particularly chosen for construction because of the years of abandonment the communities had suffered.
But a statement issued by Agba through his Special Assistant on Media Sufuyan Ojeifo described the allegation by Oghuma as attempts to “rewrite the story of how the Federal Government approved N34 billion for the construction of rural roads under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).”
He said “The ESP is a direct and proactive response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the plan has been designed to prevent post-harvest losses, among other negative impacts.
“The Federal Government had approved the construction of 377 rural roads in 266 communities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along agro-corridors.
“The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning is inspecting these rural road projects in line with the requirements of the National Monitoring and Evaluation (NM&E) mandate of his ministry.”