Friday, 23 June 2017

Fashola blasts National Assembly over budget cut for Lagos-Ibadan, 2nd Niger bridge

The National Assembly slashed N21 billion off the N31 billion vote for the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Speaking in Lagos during the week, Mr. Fashola said N5 billion was also taken off the Second Niger Bridge.
He said funds saved were “diverted” to projects inserted into the 2017 budget by the lawmakers, which were not government’s priorities.
“What I have in my budget now is primary healthcare centres, boreholes,” Mr. Fashola said.
“That was the meeting we had with the Acting President and that was the reason why the budget was not signed on time.
“We were asked to complete those abandoned projects; the budget of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was reduced by the National Assembly from N31 billion to N10 billion.
“We are owing the contractors about N15 billion and they have written to us that they are going to shut down.
“Also, the budget of the 2nd Niger bridge was reduced from N15 billion to N10 billion and about N3 billion or so was removed from the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road budget,’’ he said.
“Everybody is complaining about power supply but they also cut the budget for Manbila power project and the Bodo bridge that connects the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Station was also cut.”
“If after we had defended the budget and we had gone and the legislature unilaterally changed the budget, what is the purpose of deliberation?’’ he added.

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