The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has raised alarm over the interpolation of projects outside the scope of his ministry in the 2017 Appropriation Act by the National Assembly. Fashola stated that it was unfair to the Executive arm for the involvement of such projects after defence of the fiscal estimates by the ministries and public hearings on the budget.
He said this at an interactive session with editors on Thursday, 6th June, 2017: “What I have in my budget now is primary healthcare centres, boreholes. 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 ask to complete those abandoned projects; the budget of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was reduced by the National Assembly from N31 billion to N10 billion.
“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.’’ Fashola added: “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 and all these were also discussed. “If after we have defended the budget and we had gone and the legislature unilaterally changed the budget, what is the purpose of deliberation?’’
Fashola further added that it was unfair to Nigerians for the budget to be altered, cut or padded after public hearings were conducted with tax payers’ money and consultations with the lawmakers. The minister said that the lawmakers added 100 roads to the 200 uncompleted roads he inherited from the previous administration. “These roads are not federal roads and some of them do not have designs, how do we award roads that were not designed irrespective of the power you have?