Why There’s Been A Delay In Delivery Of Road Projects – Fashola

 

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has explained the reason why there has been a delay in delivery of road projects across the country.

Speaking during the Federal Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, he noted that while approval by the council is one challenge, funding is another major challenge.

He further stated that other challenges encountered by the government bother on lack of co-operation by the communities and payment of compensation.

The minister again noted that there’s a pending amount of N10 billion as unpaid compensation for the second Niger bridge amongst several others.

Meanwhile, he denied reports that there are currently about 20,000 abandoned projects across the country.

Budget: Personal Attacks Didn’t Address Issues I Raised, Fashola Replies NASS

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed deep concern over the recourse of the National Assembly spokespersons to name calling over his observations on the 2017 budget.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Hakeem Bello, the minister said he was worried that the National Assembly spokespersons failed to address the fundamental points about development, hindering whimsical cuts in the allocations to several vital projects under the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as well as other ministries.

Fashola had, in a recent interview, while acknowledging that legislators could contribute to budget making, disagreed with the practice where the legislative arm of government unilaterally alters the budget after putting members of the executive through budget defence sessions and committee hearings to the extent that some of the projects proposed would have become materially altered.

While acknowledging the need for legislative input from the representatives of the people to bring forward their developmental aspirations before and during the budget production process, the minister had observed that it amounted to a waste of tax payers money and an unnecessary distortion of orderly planning and development for all sections of the country, for lawmakers to unilaterally insert items not under the Exclusive or Concurrent lists of the Constitution like boreholes and streetlights after putting Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAS, through the process of budget defence.

Specifically with regards to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Fashola listed the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Bodo-Bonny road, the Kano-Maiduguri road, the Second Niger Bridge and the long drawn Mambilla Hydropower Project among others, as those that the National Assembly materially altered the allocations in favour of scores of boreholes and Primary Health Care Centres which were never discussed during the Ministerial Budget Defence before Parliament.

The Senate had recently accused the Works Minister of spreading falsehood on the 2017 Budget with regards to projects under his ministry.

Fashola Denies Frustrating Reconstruction Of Road

fasholaThe Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has debunked claims by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that the ministry is frustrating plans to reconstruct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Mr. Fashola said that the correct position on the airport road and presidential lodge issues, is that the process that would lead to their approval by the Federal Executive Council has not been completed.

Governor Ambode, during a press briefing, alleged that he approached the Ministry of Works on the matter but had not received permission to go ahead with the project.

He added that he had also been denied access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos after President Muhammadu Buhari approved its handover to the state.

The Ministry of Works has also accused the Lagos state government of refusing to approve the ministry’s request for land, for the National Housing programme in the state.

Alleged 800m Naira Fraud: Ogunlewe Questions Court’s Jurisdiction

Court Dismisses Appeal Against Market Association In AbujaA former Minister of Works, Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe, is questioning the jurisdiction of an Ogun State High Court to hear a case bordering on financial misappropriation brought against him.

The lead counsel to the first accused, Wale Adesokan, had filed the application, saying it was made to put an end to the trial at the court.

He asked the court to quash the case brought against his client.

The former Minister, who is the Chairman Governing Council of the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta,  was charged to the court in Abeokuta alongside the Vice-Chancellor, Babatunde Oyewole and Moses Ilesanmi (bursar) over the alleged fraud.

However, the lead counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ben Ubi, kicked against the application, insisting that Mr Ogunlewe and others have a case to answer.

He said the anti-graft agency would further study the application before commencement of hearing in court.

”We are opposing the application. They have case to answer and the accused should face the trial, rather than dancing round.

“We have acted strictly based on the law and we have not offended the law,” he said

After hearing the argument from both parties, the judge, Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, said there was need to progress on the case and adjourned hearing on the application brought by the first accused person to January 27, February 9 and 10, 2017.

Fashola Advocates Tolls For Road Maintenance

Fashola Advocates Tolls For Road MaintenanceThe Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has stressed the need for the federal government to revisit tolls as a means of raising funds for the maintenance of Nigerian roads.

Fashola was speaking at the public hearing on a legislation seeking to scrap the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and replace it with the Federal Roads Authority.

The minister asked the legislature not to set up a new agency but rather, strengthen the existing agency which has a similar mandate.

“We also welcome the idea of creating a maintenance agency, but we think that all of the recommendations that have been made for maintenance, should be embodied in the agency that the government has already created, FERMA, repeal the existing FERMA law, re-enact it and put all of the new things we want to create inside it,” Fashola advised.

Fashola Calls For Caution Over Expenditure Of Road Funds

Fashola, road fundsThe Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has called for caution in the setting up of a national roads fund.

This according to him, is especially as it has to do with collecting taxes for the proposed road fund.

The minister made this appeal during the public hearing on two bills that seek to establish the national roads fund, which will house funds for the development and maintenance of national roads.

The minister also called attention to the fact that local governments have the largest road networks and that there is need to ensure that local governments get more funds.

This follows a statement by House Of Representative member, Okechukwu, who on Sunday, said the objective of the National Roads Fund Bill include: to establish the National Roads Fund which will serve as repository for revenues accruing from road user related charges and other sources for financing the development, rehabilitation, maintenance and other activities related to the provision of national roads.

The bill is also to establish the national roads fund board , which would be responsible for the management of the roads fund, in accordance with the provisions of the act, while promoting sustainable development and operation of the road sector in Nigeria.

Another bill to be considered is the federal road fund bill, which seeks to establish the federal road fund to be a pool of dedicated funds that would finance the maintenance of federal roads in Nigeria and promote the sustainable development and operation of road networks across the country.

Also expected to be engaged by the committee on works, chaired by Rep. Toby Okechukwu, are the Ministers Of Budget And National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister Of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Attorney General of the Federation as well as Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami.

With various on-going re-habilitation projects, the federal government says it has so far spent over 73 billion Naira on road projects across the country.

Motorists React To FG’s Order To Eliminate Speed Breakers

speed breakers, motorists, FG, HighwaysMotorists as well as residents of some communities have been reacting to the ‘no speed breakers’ directive by the Federal Government.

This is sequel to the directive by Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, ‎that all speed breakers on federal highways be removed.

Those agitating for the speed breakers to remain have insisted that they are necessary, in order to control the speed of motorists on the highways.

They believe that several lives have been lost to road accidents as a result of over-speeding by motorists, especially as some motorists indulge in drunk driving.

Some citizens are, however, in support of the government’s order for the removal of the speed breakers.

Motorists especially have complained that the speed breakers damage their vehicles, insisting that they are of no advantage on the highways.

Federal Controller of Works in Ondo State, Hezekiah Kehinde, in an interview with Channels Television, opined that ‎speed breakers are not part of road design.

According to him, “they are illegal and they even cause accidents”.

Channels TV also spoke with two transporters, Adewale Ojo and Kayode Agbeyanju, who were also of the view that the speed breakers should be removed from the highways.

Meanwhile, an Assistant Corps‎ Marshall in the Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC), Wole Olaniran, has suggested that it is rather “preferable for speed limit devices to be installed in vehicles, in order to limit the speed of motorists”.

Fashola Blames Pipeline Vandalism For Poor Power Supply

Babatunde Fashola, Power, Oil installationsThe Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has attributed the poor electricity supply across Nigeria to attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region by militants.

The Minister said this on Thursday at a forum organised by members of a civil society organisation in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Fashola argued that one year was a short time for government to deliver on all its campaign promises, while giving an account of his term in office.

According to him, out of the 26 power plants built to generate electricity across the country, 23 depend on gas, lamenting that the activities of vandals in the southern region had made it impossible to power those plants.

However, some members of the civil society groups in the audience expressed displeasure with the Minister’s reason for the present condition of electricity supply in the country.

On their parts, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, insisted that the government has made progress in delivering on its promises to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and trying to fix the economy.

The Director Centre for Democracy and Development, Idayat Hassan, said the objective of the gathering was to provide an opportunity for the All Progressives Congress-led administration to give account of its stewardship in the last one year in line with its campaign promises.

The meeting is coming on the heels of the series of attacks on infrastructure in the oil rich Niger Delta region by militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, which is said to have rendered the energy sector paralytic.Niger Delta, US, Nigeria

One of the latest attacks carried out by the group was the attack on a crude oil pipeline belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited in the early hours of Wednesday.

No Going Back On Electricity Tariff Hike – FG

Fashola
Nigeria’s Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

The Federal Government has restated its position that there is no going back on the increase in electricity tariff in the country.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at a public hearing at the Senate explained that the National Assembly has already empowered the National Electrical Regulatory Commission (NERC) to fix tariff in the country.

Officials from the labour unions in the electricity sector, who also attended the hearing, voiced their displeasure at the increase and noted that they were not consulted before the decision to increase tariff was made.

The Minister, however, insisted that the increase in electricity tariff is unavoidable if the country must enjoy steady power supply.

On its part, the Senate insisted that the Federal Government needs to urgently address some critical problems in the power sector.

On February 16 this year, the Senate at plenary asked the Minister, NERC as well as electricity distribution companies to immediately suspend the new electricity tariff that have seen charges raised by over 40 per cent.

The Senate also directed its Committee to hold a public hearing to get the views of stakeholders on the electricity tariff hike and how to move the sector forward.

Channels Television’s Linda Akhigbe reports although government is insisting that it is not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, the hike in electricity tariff without a reciprocal increase in electricity supply in many areas in the country is a bitter pill for many Nigerians to swallow.

National Economic Council Grants States Relief

National Economic CouncilPresident Muhammadu Buhari has granted state governments relief from the monthly deductions regarding CBN salary assistance loans, to enable the states recover fully from the current financial crunch.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.

The Minister called on the state governors to submit details of their financial data to enable the government to predict how much support they would be needing.

Also, the National Economic Council is to reconstitute the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company with representatives from the six geopolitical zones.

The National Economic Council also adopted the national road safety strategy document to address the current overlap and streamline the role and responsibility of the road safety management activities.

The council decried the current petrol crisis in the country urging Nigerians to be patient with the NNPC as efforts are in place to get the queues out by next week.

The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, was summoned by the Presidency barely 24 hours after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had most of the governors in attendance.

The meeting also discussed strategies to boost Nigeria’s reserves in the Excess Crude Account and then the power challenges in the country.

VP Osinbajo Presides Over National Economic Council Meeting

Economic CouncilBarely 24 hours after the Federal Executive Council meeting, another major executive meeting; the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, has been summoned by the Presidency.

The meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had most of the governors in attendance.

The meeting which ended at about 4:50PM, discussed the lingering fuel scarcity and the need for state authorities to pay salaries.

Also discussed were strategies to boost Nigeria’s reserves in the Excess Crude Account and then the power challenges in the country.

At the Federal Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday, short-term and long-term plans were made to revamp the nation’s refineries before the end of 2017 and also put an end to importation of petrol by 2019.

The FEC also said that petrol supply would be available before the end of May, with Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries supporting supplies.

It is expected that the ongoing National Economic Council meeting would be discussing ways to implement the plans by the Federal Executive Council.

The National Economic Council (NEC) held its retreat in March.

The March retreat, according to the Vice President, was to provide a forum for in-depth discussions by NEC members of the policy actions that the states and the Federal Government could consider in order to stimulate local production, cut costs and enhance public revenues among other measures to stimulate the economy.

The NEC comprises of the 36 state governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted members.

The NEC is chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

FEC Says Petrol Scarcity To End In May

FEC on petrol scarcityNigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) says the government is working hard to put an end to petrol scarcity before the end of May.

At the meeting of the council on Wednesday, short-term and long-term plans were made to revamp the nation’s refineries before the end of 2017 and also put an end to importation of petrol by 2019.

The Council’s statement is coming amidst scarcity of petrol in the oil-rich nation, a situation that had led to loss of man-hour at fuel service stations across the nation.

After the meeting of the Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, reporters were told that all refineries in the nation would resume production fully by 2017.

Sympathised With Nigerians

There are also plans to ensure that fuel importation will be reduced by 60 per cent by 2018 before a total end to it by 2019.

In the short term, however, the Council said petrol supply would be available before the end of May, with Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries supporting supplies.

The Council also sympathised with Nigerians on the hardship they face in long queues to get petrol at fuel service stations, blaming it on sabotage and fuel marketers who the Council claimed wanted to make quick money.

The Council also directed the Department of Petroleum Resources to enforce correct pump prices, promising that 1,200 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit also referred to as petrol would be delivered daily to end scarcity.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babtunde Fashola, who spoke on the power outages, blamed the situation on insufficient gas supply and vandalism of the Forcados Plants which resulted in a drop in power from 5,000 megawatts to 3,000 megawatts.

Mr Fashola further expressed confidence that the ministry would meet a target of 10,000 megawatts set by the president for 2019.