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N20bn Lost Annually to Poor Infrastructure –MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Apapa Branch, has decried the loss of over N20 billion annually as a result of dilapidated infrastructure within Amowu Odofin and kirikiri industrial zones.

Speaking at the 10th business luncheon in Lagos yesterday, the branch Chairman, Frank Ike Onyebu, represented by the vice Chairman, Raphael Damilola, said the activities of trucks and trailers drivers/owners in Apapa axis has crippled economic activities of manufacturers and industrialists.

Onyebu added that, though Nigeria has signed the AFCFTA, it was not yet uhuru for the country because Nigeria still suffers infrastructural and systemic problems that places it in a disadvantage position.

According to him, poor power supply, multiple taxation, security challenges harsh economic weather remains albatross to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

“A recent research carried out by Center for Trade and Development Initiative, University of Ibadan, stated that; a three -phase liberalization tariff rates from five to zero per cent will likely generate a higher surge of imported manufactured goods to the tune of 159.5 per cent, to 251.4 per cent on the average over the 15- year period.

“Nigeria being one of the least of import penetration from African countries, makes us an export target for many African countries under AFCFTA. Thus; export is expected to surge in all manufacturing sectoral groups, by extension the 77-sub sectors in the third phase of the liberalization.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Bola Balogun, said the state would do anything possible to improve the socio-economic environment through its holistic implementation of T.H.E.M.E.S development which lays emphasis on traffic and transportation, education health,  environment, and technology, to make Lagos a 21st century economy, entertainment and tourism center with security and good governance at heart.

Source: sunnewsonline

Infrastructure: Still a Long Walk In The Maze

One month after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared a state of emergency on roads, and gave a marching order to eight construction firms to help fix the roads and relieve residents of traffic nightmare, it is still the same old story. 

 

The question Lagosians may soon ask Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is: just how much longer does he need to fix the roads?

The question, which is being asked with all sense of responsibility, is because they are seeing no sign of respite that anything may change soon, despite the imminence of the dry season, the much-expected period where much speed is expected on ongoing projects.

Their worry was triggered by none other than the lackadaisical attitude of the contractors saddled with repairing the roads and bringing the much-needed relief to road users.

On October 13, the governor declared an emergency on the roads and saddled eight construction companies with constructing some selected roads.

The contractors were Messrs Julius Berger Construction Company Plc, Hi-tech Construction Company, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slabaugh Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction, and RCF Nigeria Limited.

Some of the critical highways and even inner roads listed among the roads for urgent remedial attention include the Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road, Motorways -Kudirat Abiola Way, Apogbon Highway, Babs Animashaun Road, Agric/Ishawo Road and Ijede Road in Ikorodu, as well as Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.

Also to be touched in what may be the first phase of the massive reconstruction are the roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.

“We expect the rains will begin to subside and this is why we are mobilising our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them,” Sanwo-Olu assured.

He also directed the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials to work round the clock to control traffic in areas where the construction would take place.

Sanwo-Olu, who empathised with pain of road users, gave the contractors a marching order to start the reconstruction the following day.

Their efforts, according to the governor, are to be complemented by the rehabilitation by men of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), which during the August break, claimed it palliated 200 roads.

Some road users have raised concern that virtually all those roads have since been washed off in the ensuing rainfalls of the last two months.

A section of road users are even querying what qualifies Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Ikeja GRA, while many more densely populated roads abound at Oshodi, Mushin, Agege, Okokomaiko, Ojokoro, Ifako-Ijaiye and even Ikeja, all in the mainland, all of which could have given more relief to road users, had they been attended.

The Nation’s checks, however, showed that one month after Sanwo-Olu’s approval, none of the contractors have mobilised their workforce to site, despite the respite from the rains.

The situation on most of the roads listed as priority by the government and for which contractors have been selected has remained same.

The Nation could not immediately confirm whether the government has mobilised all the contractors.

However, Sanwo-Olu kept assuring road users that he has their listening ears, and feels their pain. He sought Lagosians’ understanding as he sorts the state’s myriad challenges.

The governor disclosed that his administration had audacious programmes lined up to address the current challenges facing the State.

He however hinted that his strides might be hampered by “a number of irrevocable financial liabilities tied to which the State’s resources had been tied,” by his immediate predecessor.

He said: “I know I cannot give excuses to Lagosians that I met the state in financial mess. It would amount to meaningless stories. And nobody will never know the real status of finances of any state until they get there. It is until I got there that I realised how bad we are in terms of outstanding liabilities, financial commitments to local banks and Federal Government’s bonds.”

To finance the capital projects envisaged for the state, the governor disclosed that he might have to seek fresh funds. “We may have to widen the tax net and improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, to fund some of the pending capital projects,” he said.

At a public forum recently, Sanwo-Olu also took umbrage at critics, carpeting his administration, saying having concluded planning, implementation becomes easy.

Sanwo-Olu’s critics are unrelenting. They said seven months is too long for the governor who knew he was inheriting assets and liabilities of a state to make an impression.

Sanwo-Olu, who brandishes a two-governor-in-one ticket, they claimed is too solid to be wasting time at the door of indecision.

His dithering, they claimed, depicts a mind not cued to the assignment of his office.

Adeola Samson was one of such critics, who believes Sanwo-Olu should stop wallowing in self-pity and face his assignment.

“The governor knows the roads were bad, long before he was sworn-in in May. The roads have been deplorable and road reconstruction was one of his cardinal campaign promises, so why is he delaying after the victory?”

Some users believe bad roads are a major cause of traffic nightmare on Lagos roads. They reasoned that if 50 percent of the roads are fixed, much of the choke being experienced across the state’s road network would have been addressed and traffic will move more freely, leading to a reduction in the cumulative man-hour loss in the state, which is put conservatively at over two billion man-hours per year.

But the governor reasoned that other factors outside bad roads are responsible for traffic gridlock.

According to him, population and vehicle count are exerting immeasurable pressure on the roads.

According to Sanwo-Olu, more than 10 per cent of the nation’s 180 million population, reside in the state.This is beside a vehicular movement average of 240 vehicles per kilometre, as against the national average, which ranges between 11 and 15 vehicles per kilometre.

The governor said being the nation’s economic capital, Lagos roads will always experience traffic congestion but pointed out that his administration is coming with a robust transportation system to relief the roads and lessen the pain of road users.

He said: “In the short to medium term, we have decided to come up with intermodal transport scheme, which will see us simultaneously developing capacities in waterways, rail and road mode mass transit. Our intervention is largely focused on the road, because it is the most used method of transportation.

“The BRT programme is on course and we have taken delivery of 800 buses, which we are currently trying to clear from the Nigerian Port. Once this is done, we will be able to remove a lot of yellow commercial buses off the road in line with our transportation plan. “

On the road infrastructure, he promised some speed once the rainy season is over.

Housing Deficit

Dayo Ayeyemi said with one, out of the six months of dry season gone, the governor need to breathe hard on the contractors if appreciable work is to be done on the roads by the advent of next year’s rainy season.

A Deputy Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Mr Adesegun Ogundeji said the complaints had been high this year because the rain has a debilitating effect on the roads.

“Once it rains, the surfaces of the roads are usually washed away, leaving the roads distressed, depressed and deplorable,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and the LSPWC have been mandated and are working on the roads to ensure they are repaired and the pains of road users are attenuated.

Source: thenationonlineng

Ikpeazu at Africa Investment Forum targets $400m for Enyimba Economic City Project

…also to conclude $200m AfDB loan for Aba infrastructure

Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia State, is participating in the 2019 Africa Investment Forum (AIF) which kicked-off Monday, November 11 in Johannesburg South Africa, with plans to attract additional $400m investments into the planned Enyimba Economic City Project.

Ikpeazu also expects to conclude a loan discussion with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for infrastructure in Aba. He is attending the investment forum on the invitation of Akinwumni Adesina , President of the AfDB.

A statement from Onyebuchi Ememanka, chief press secretary to Abia State Governor, stated that Ikpeazu will lead participation at an investment boardroom meeting with core global investors to raise financing for the proposed Enyimba Economic City Development project.

He explained that the project was being sponsored at the board room by the AfDB, Afriexim Bank and the International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank.

The Governor supported by the private sector lead Darl Uzu and the Federal Government team led by the Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment Niyi Adebayo, will pitch to global business leaders opportunities in the Enyimba Economic Development City project.

The efforts are targeted at raising an additional $400 million required for the first phase of the project expected to start Q1 2020.

One of the major high points of the Governor’s trip to South Africa is his meeting with the President of the AfDB, to tidy up the $200 million AfDB-assisted infrastructural development project, targeted at dealing with major infrastructural challenges particularly, roads, stormwater, and environmental management issues in Aba.

Prominent amongst them is President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Ememanka in the statement also said that the Governor would hold meetings with Abians resident in Johannesburg to update them with developments at home.

Those accompanying the Governor on the trip are the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Aham Uko, his counterpart in the Ministry of Works, Bob Chiedozie Ogu and Chinenye Nwogu, special adviser to the Governor.

The three-day event is being attended by many African business and political leaders, including Presidents and Heads of governments across the continent and beyond.

Source: businessday

FG Mulls Tax Incentives for Capital Markets, Infrastructure Investing – Ahmed

The Federal Government on Thursday hinted of more tax incentives for infrastructure and capital markets investors. Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, while delivering her keynote address at the 2019 Businessday Investing and Capital Markets Conference in Abuja, said the strategic policy is to help strengthen and complement the crucial relationship between fiscal policy, the regulatory environment and the capital markets in Nigeria.

The minister, at the conference themed ‘Market recovery, innovation and regulation in Nigeria’, also hinted of plans aimed at integrating annual budgets and medium-term fiscal strategies into rolling medium and long-term national plans.

“With discussions between the executive and the National Assembly currently ongoing regarding the 2020 budget proposal, we are well on our way to ensuring a stable January to December budget cycle,” Ahmed said.

She said the Federal Government would come up with a new long-term development plan for Nigeria.

Source: Businessdayng

Infrastructure: FG Seeks $60bn Fund From US

President Muhammadu Buhari has solicited the support of the United States of America to help Nigeria in accessing the $60 billion infrastructure fund under the United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC).

The USIDFC is an executive agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for providing foreign aid through the financing of private development projects.

 

The President met with U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin in Riyadh on Wednesday and they had positive discussions on investments in Nigeria under the new USIDFC) which provides $60 billion for investments in developing nations.

Speaking at the meeting held on the margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, Buhari said that Nigeria would leverage on the U.S facility to address current challenges confronting her power sector as well as general upgrade of infrastructure.

The Nigerian leader, according to Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, stated that President Buhari expressed the willingness of the Nigerian government to mobilize additional capital from development finance institutions for the upgrade of critical infrastructure in the country.

Buhari commended the U.S government for supporting Nigeria’s anti-terrorism efforts.

President Buhari and Mnuchin also discussed areas of strengthening Nigeria’s ongoing collaboration with the United States on stopping terrorist financing.

Mnuchin was accompanied by Brent Macintosh, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the United States Treasury Department.

The Treasury Secretary used the occasion to introduce Macintosh, who was recently promoted Under Secretary for International Affairs by President Trump after the previous Under Secretary David Malpass was elected President of the World Bank.

The Nigerian leader congratulated Macintosh on his elevation and requested for his continued support to Nigeria.

Nigeria, Saudi to Establish Bilateral Council

Also, Buhari accepted an invitation from the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for the establishment of Nigeria- Saudi Council aimed at promoting investments and enhancing relations between both countries.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu stated that the decision was the highpoint of a bilateral meeting between the Nigerian leader and the Crown Prince which took place on the margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference.

The meeting was initially scheduled to hold in the office of the Crown Prince but out of courtesy and respect for the Nigerian leader, Prince Salman insisted that he would meet with President Buhari in his hotel room at The Ritz Carlton, Riyadh.

The Council will be made up of government officials and business leaders from both countries and the areas of focus are: economic growth and development, investments in oil and non-oil sectors, and security cooperation.

Buhari and the Crown Prince agreed that the first assignment for the Council is to establish a legal and operational framework that will facilitate investments beneficial to both countries.

The Council will be established in the next two months while meetings will be held twice every year.

To ensure that relations between both countries remain active, it was also agreed that leaders of both countries, at the highest level, will meet at least once every year to review the progress of the joint council and ensure closer collaboration on issues of mutual interest.

President Buhari thanked the Crown Prince for the Kingdom’s interest in investing in Nigeria and the initiative to establish the Council which would form the foundation for a stronger Nigeria-Saudi relationship.

‘‘Nigeria has a large population mainly made up of dynamic, young people and partnerships of this type will help them to be productive and prosperous,’’ the President said, assuring that his government will continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.

Speaking on regional and international issues, President Buhari shared the view of the Crown Prince that with the collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the next frontier for terrorism is the Sahel region.

The Nigerian leader commended the Saudi authorities for keeping the issue of the security situation in Sahel region on the front burner.

The Saudi Crown Prince said that the security challenges in the Sahel should be seen as a global issue, adding that ‘‘Saudi Arabia is prepared to participate in the engagement and sensitisation of the whole world to the problems in sub-Saharan Africa,’’ he said.

Housing Development

On bilateral issues, the Crown Prince reiterated the preparedness of the Kingdom to support Nigeria’s development agenda, noting that the country had the potential to be among the top 20 economies in the world.

‘‘Saudi Arabia is eager to support Nigeria and we want to be a part of Nigeria’s journey to be among the top 20 economies in the world,’’ he said.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the President the Saudis have invested 40 billion U.S. dollars in India, 10 billion dollars in Pakistan and 20 billion dollars in Indonesia and are willing to do the same in Nigeria given the favourable business environment.

The Nigerian President re-emphasized that enabling a conducive business environment will remain a priority for his administration.

Source: dailyasset

Bridging Nigeria’s Infrastructure Gap; Getting The Funding

Nigeria’s widening infrastructure deficit has been a recurring discourse over the years as it is widely believed that the weak stock of infrastructure investments is one of the biggest challenges to the ease of doing business. However, the question that has often been left unanswered is “how the infrastructure deficit will be financed”?

According to the IMF, Nigeria’s infrastructure stock of c.25% of GDP remains far below the 70% international benchmark. This implies that Nigeria’s public capital stock per head is lower than the global average, a situation that has constrained the growth in GDP and hindered private sector investment.

Recently, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that the Federal Government will require about N36trn (US$100 billion) annually for the next 30 years to effectively tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges. The Minister further stated that with the shortfall in oil revenue in recent times, it is difficult to address the infrastructural deficit. Capital expenditure in 2018 stood at N820.6 billion (as at 14th December 2018 according to the budget office of the federation), far below the budgeted sum of N2.9 trillion translating to a performance ratio of just 28.6%.

Taking into cognizance weak government revenue, ballooning recurrent expenditure, and elevated debt servicing costs which has raised concerns on debt sustainability, we think governement lacks the capacity to self-finance the required infrastructure investment.  Consequently, there is the need for the government to consider unconventional methods of financing to bridge this huge infrastructural deficit.

Recently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange announced the listing of the Federal Government N15 billion Green Bond (a 7-year bond issued at a coupon rate of 14.50% on June 13, 2019). This follows the debut Sovereign N10.69 billion Green Bond that was issued in December 2017 and listed on the NSE in July 2018. Green Bonds are targeted towards financing renewable energy, afforestation, and transportation projects.

Though different from the regular bonds issued by the Federal Government, green bonds still remain debt instruments issued by the Federal Government and will likely put further pressure on the already high debt servicing cost of the government. In our view, creating a strong framework for private sector investments through public-private partnership (PPP) remains the most cost-effective means of bridging the infrastructure deficit in the country.

Source: Nairametrics

Rwanda: City Mayor Elated As Forbes Names Kigali Among 20 Best Places to Visit

The City of Kigali this week made it to the Forbes’ list of the 20 best places to visit in 2020.

The exclusive list, drawn up based on sales and client aspirations, was made by travel agents of the Ovation Travel Group, a 35-year-old $1.4 billion travel company.

Judy Stein, president of the Stein Collective, an affiliate of Ovation Travel Group, noted that people should visit Kigali to witnesses its dramatic success since the end of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

“Kigali is clean, safe and filled with enlightening cultural experiences from world-class modern art galleries to fashion, local crafts and even a coffee co-op run by women making the world’s best coffee,” she told Forbes.

“Rwanda in general and Kigali as the capital gateway city have really come into their own since the genocide a generation ago,” Stein said.

She also urged travellers to visit the recently opened Singita Kwitonda lodge in Musanze District, and One&Only’s Nyungwe House in Nyamasheke District, for wildlife exploration, especially gorilla trekking.

Speaking to The New Times, the Mayor of the City of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa, said these were exciting times for the city residents are visitors.

The capital, he said, is “indeed a gateway to Rwanda’s incredible touristic attractions”.

We are increasingly becoming an ideal destination for travellers from around the world, he added, citing ongoing efforts to make travellers’ experience even more exciting.

Frank Benoit Kanyamutara, the owner of Golden Rwanda Safaris, reckons that the growing recognition of Kigali and Rwanda, in general, as a top destination presented an opportunity to travel agencies.

“Although the Government invests in tourism, we are the ones who host these visitors. As such, when the country is ranked highly, it means more possibilities for the people of Rwanda in general and for us in this sector in particular,” he said.

Frederick Ndikubwimana, the Managing Director of Rwanda Discovery and Travel Agency, said: “These rankings are good for the domestic tourism sector because they influence people’s perceptions and inform their decision-making when it comes to such things as holidaying.”

We expect more tourists to consider Rwanda in their travel plans, he added.

According to RDB, 1.7 million people visited Rwanda in 2018, representing an 8 per cent growth from the previous year.

Rwanda is home to hundreds of mountain gorillas as well as several national parks teeming with wildlife of all kinds.

The country also boasts the Big Five following the successful translocation of certain species to the Akagera National Park.

Most of these parks are less than two hours drive from the capital.

Other destinations on the Forbes’ list besides Rwandan capital city Kigali include Cape Town, Patagonia, Marrakech, Tel Aviv, Atacama Desert and Tokyo.

Source: AllAfrica

Critical Infrastructure Threatened By Climate Crisis, Says Survey

Climate change is contributing to increasing damage to critical infrastructure around the globe, according to a 12-year survey of damages caused by small- and medium-scale disasters conducted by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Schools, health facilities and roads are regularly damaged by small-scale weather events, which do not grab headlines. The ensuing economic losses and costs of recovery take a heavy toll on the ability of low and middle-income countries to invest in achieving sustainable development goals including poverty reduction, health, and education.

A concerted effort has been underway to improve the collection of disaster loss data since the adoption in 2015 of the global plan to reduce disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and some 126 countries are now reporting on disaster losses through the online Sendai Framework Monitor based on data from national disaster loss databases.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction looked at the damage to education and health facilities which were identified as areas of critical concern by UN Member States when it came to measuring progress in reducing damage to critical infrastructure, a key target of the Sendai Framework.

Since 2005, on average, more than 3,200 schools have been damaged or destroyed each year in a baseline sample of extensive risk in 83 countries while, on average, over 412 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed every year.

The Sendai Framework Monitor data also shows that between 2005 and 2017 over 3,200 kilometers of roads have been damaged or destroyed in these same 83 countries from small and medium disasters alone.

“The reports we are receiving are evidence that it is not just the number of extreme weather events that are on the rise but that there has also been a steady uptick in the number of high-frequency recurrent low-to-medium intensity disasters that are taking their toll in terms of economic losses and disruption of basic services at the local level. This is further proof that the climate emergency is disrupting efforts to eradicate poverty and to put the world on a path to sustainable development,” said Mami Mizutori, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Drawn from reports received from 83 countries and territories, the findings are being used to highlight the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction which is focused on promoting resilient infrastructure and encouraging more durable and risk-informed construction under the slogan “Build To Last”.

The statistics reflect long-term disaster trends and focused on so-called extensive risk, which manifests as large numbers of recurrent, low-to-medium severity disasters mainly associated with localized hazards such as flash floods, landslides, urban flooding, storms, fires, and other time-specific events.

Mizutori said: “Extensive disaster risk is magnified not just by climate change but by other drivers of risk such as insufficiently planned and managed urban development, environmental degradation, poverty and inequality, vulnerable rural livelihoods and weak governance.”

Achievement of the sustainable development goals will need massive investment in critical infrastructure. Such investment needs to take account of the growing risks posed by climate-related hazards.

“Most of this type of loss is uninsured and tends to be absorbed by low-income households and communities, small businesses and local and national governments which have few resources to spare,” she added.

Source: guardianng

524 Ongoing Road Projects Across Nigeria — Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has said that a total of 524 road projects were ongoing in the different geo-political zones in the country. Babatunde Fashola Fashola said this while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Works chaired by Rep. Ahmed Birchi in Abuja.

The minister said there were four multilateral-funded road projects, 81 under the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund and 45 others being funded under the Sukuk bond.  Motorists lament bad state of Ikotun-Cele road He said that the ministry was focusing on roads that open up the economy and contribute to the ease of doing business.

He added that “Nigeria would be back on its feet” if government could ensure that there was no failure on roads that stretched from ports to border cities. “What remains is to finish; the real challenge for us and our recommendation is to adopt the policy statement of the president and focus on whatever resources we have towards completing as many of those projects as possible.”

He added that a funding gap of ₦255 billion was required to “ideally” fund some of the major roads and stressed that the ₦157 billion 2020 budget allocation was inadequate. Fashola said that ₦2.93 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under the multilateral funded projects, while ₦306 billion was the amount for unpaid certificates for completed road projects.

On private sector investment in road projects, the minister, however, cautioned that the government “must not play politics” with such investment. He also said that the ministry undertook a traffic count on strategic roads nationwide which supported the argument of the toll gate system on Nigerian roads.

“For the first time in 10 years, the Ministry of Works undertook a traffic count nationwide on strategic roads; we completed it in 2017. “What you see (in the document) before you are reporting; so where you see Average Daily Traffic (ADT), the top item on the far right is Enugu-Abakaliki and it shows ADT is 20,746 vehicles.

“The projected traffic in 20 years is what is under it and if you look through all those columns from the left, Lagos-Ibadan, Ogere Northside the ADT there is reported as 25.1 thousand and projected to rise to 45,000 vehicles. “This (document) provides more information for those who make the argument that if you toll the roads you get all the money.”

Fashola added that the busiest road in the country was the Third Mainland Bridge with vehicular traffic of 117,000 plus average daily traffic. NAN reports that the Ministry of Works and Housing got the highest projected allocation of N262 billion from the N10. 33 trillion budget estimates presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

SOURCE: VANGUARD

 

Fashola: No More Refund To States For Repairing Federal Roads

Fashola, middle, defending the budget of the Ministry of Works at the House of Representatives

Babatunde Raji Fashola, minister of works and housing announced that the Federal Government will no longer make refund to states which repair federal roads.

He advised the states to concentrate on state-funded roads.

Fashola announced the paradigm shift in federal-state relations on Thursday while defending the budget of his works component of his ministry before the Works Committee of the House of Representatives.

“When we came in, we inherited quite a number of such debts from states which repaired Federal roads and asked for refunds. The President directed that we pay all those that were approved by the previous government.

“He also directed that states should concentrate on their own roads and that states can only get involved in Federal roads, if they are repairing them and not coming to ask for refund,” he said.

The minister complained that the N157b capital budgetary allocation to his ministry is too little, as it is not enough to pay contractors for jobs already done.

According to him the Ministry needs N306 billion to pay contractors for jobs already done, while N2.93 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under the multilateral-funded projects.

The minister said the Federal Government has about 524 ongoing road projects across the country, with four multilateral-funded road projects, 81 roads under the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund (PIDF) and 45 others being funded under the Sukuk bond.

Fashola said N255 billion was required to fund some of the major roads, adding that the ministry was focusing on roads that help to open up the economy and make the ease of doing business less cumbersome.

The minister listed some of the projects under the PIDF to include the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, the Mambilla Hydro project and the East-West road.

SOURCE: PMNEWSNIGERIA

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