…as lawmakers pay working visit to Works Ministry
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Federal Government has given assurance of commencing the rehabilitation of major federal roads across the country, including Gombe-Biu in Borno State.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engineer Hassan Musa made the disclosure while welcoming the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Mauktar Betara who led a delegation of his colleagues among whom were Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha and Hon. Kabir Tukura to the Ministry of Works headquarters on a working visit, Tuesday.
Musa who said that alternative funding had been secured by the ministry for the rehabilitation of the Gombe-Biu road also gave hope of Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval of the infrastructure.
He said: “On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari administration and on behalf of the honourable Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, I want to confirm that we are creating a new funding for that road and the contractor will be given all necessary enablement for him to be able to deliver on that road.
“We have seen the dilapidated condition of that road and also the difficulties the people around the area of this area are facing due to the condition of the road.
“But obviously we are waiting for the rains to abate and hopefully as the rains are abating now we intend to engage all our contractors and make them to go to site to work assiduously, more so that we now have a sustainable funding window which would give them the opportunity to be paid immediately their works are certified”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Muktar Betara decried the paucity of funds which he said had hampered the fixing of the road.
“What brought me this afternoon, I came in purposely because of our major road – Gombe-Biu road. Gombe-Biu road the contract has been awarded 5 to 6 years ago, and the contractor is very slow on the work.
“At any time we had discussion with him, his own problem is funding, funding, funding because the funding issues for that kind of work cannot come through the budget, though I’m the Chairman of Appropriations Committee but I have limits to how much I can put on a road in my Constituency.
“So I decided to come and see the Permanent Secretary and the honourable Minister to plead and I’m happy today, he has informed me that there is a window for funding of Gombe-Biu road project on ground.
“So they are going to have meeting with the contractors by next week after the approval by the Federal Executive Council”, Betera said.