By Chris Ochayi, ABUJA

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has disclosed that over N359 billion has so far been spent on the construction of the 657-kilometre East-West Road dualisation project.

The contract for the road project stretching from Effurun in Delta State to Calabar in Cross River State, was awarded in November 2006, but has experienced unprecedented hiccups in terms of completion.

READ ALSO: FG releases N7b for completion of East-West road

Akpabio made the disclosure during the ministry’s 2021 budget performance review and 2022 proposed budget consideration to the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, in Abuja.

The minister said bearing in mind the objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the completion of ongoing projects, the ministry was considering raising funds from other sources to ensure the completion of section I-IV of the road before the end of this administration.

He noted that the preparation of the ministry’s budget was conceived in line with the Federal Government 2022 Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability premised on repositioning the economy on part of growth and resilience.

He resented a total budgetary proposal of N28,131,295,396 for the ministry, comprising personal, N1,692,591,184;  overhead,  N877,089,120 and capital,  N25,561,615,092.

The Minister noted that “The Ministry ensured that core projects were consistent with the administrations agenda policies/strategies contained in the Medium Term National Development Plan, MTNDP, 2021-2025, according priority to on-going projects.”

Speaking earlier, during the budget presentation, Chairman House of Representative Committee on Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Essien Ekpeyong assured that the National Assembly was committed to the security of lives and investment in the Niger Delta region and for the economic and social activities to strive.

He said the budget proposal of N25.56 billion would be given due attention in line with the 2021 budgetary review.

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