Nigeria is currently owing contractors about N11.16 trillion for the construction of various roads across the country and certificates of completion.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this while defending his ministry’s proposed budget in the 2023 Appropriation Bill, saying his ministry had currently awarded 1,642 highway contracts for 1,632 projects totalling N10.395 trillion.
The proposed budget of his ministry in the 2023 Appropriation Bill, said his ministry had currently awarded 1,642 highway contracts for 1,632 projects at a total sum of N10.395 trillion.
Asked to “take a bow and go” by the MPs following his presentation before the House of Representatives Committee on Works in Abuja on Tuesday, Fashola said, “The main impediment to highways development in the country remains inadequate finance. As of now, the government has roughly N10.4 trillion in obligations to highway contractors, and there are approximately N765 billion in unpaid certificates for completed work.
“Second, effective project supervision at the sites is being hampered by the ministry’s shortage of younger engineers and technical officers as a result of the employment ban. It is anticipated that additional funding sources for highway projects would be investigated and that the ban on hiring middle-level engineers and technical officers is necessary to improve.
Reading from his written presentation to the committee, the minister stated that the regime had constructed roads totalling approximately 8,000 kilometres out of the approximately 13,000 kilometres under (re)construction.
He stated that the ministry had documented the creation of 339,955 jobs across road projects, saying, “These are the human activities behind the kilometres (of road built).”
He went on to say that some of the jobs were created as a result of 1,663,954 linear meters of lane marking, “which was not visible on our roads before but you can now see them beginning to emerge.”
He said that 1,663,954 linear meters of lane marking, which were previously invisible on our roads but are now starting to surface, contributed to the creation of some of the jobs.
The minister also mentioned that as of 2015, there were 250,583 missing traffic signs.
The construction firms, according to Fashola, used 1,002,960,851 litres of diesel for a variety of projects.
He further said that some of the jobs were created through lane marking covering 1,663,954 linear meters, “which was not visible on our roads before but you can now see them beginning to emerge.”
The minister also noted that 250,583 road signs were missing on the roads as of 2015.
According to Fashola, the construction companies had used 1,002,960,851 litres of diesel for various projects.
“Construction companies don’t buy diesel; they buy from the market. All of these suppliers are small businesses who benefit from and are impacted by what we do.”
The minister also said the contractors had used 1.6 million tonnes of cement, adding that, “These are activities going on, impacting people beyond what we do here.”