Thursday, 18 January 2018

Why My Ministry Couldn't Execute Capital Projects In 2017 - Fashola

The ministry of works was not able to implement capital projects in 2017, according to the minister, Babatunde Fashola. The minister said this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Works to defend the ministry’s proposed 2018 budget. Senator Barnabas Gemade, a member of the committee, had asked why the ministry (Works) had zero performance of capital projects in 2017. Fashola, however, blamed it on the late passage of the 2017 budget.

Fashola said, “The 2017 budget was passed in June. The procurement law requires a procurement plan which took till September. In following this law, the first release was in August. Most of the projects were going through procurement formalities such as tax identity, contract terms, even construction companies went on holidays. So, there were so many things.”The chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, followed up and asked about the number of projects that were not procured in 2017 since there was a rollover of projects from 2016.

But Fashola could not respond to the question, saying that even the Director of Planning in the ministry could not give a definite answer. He, however, appealed with the committee to let him bring a detailed report later. The minister said, “It is a tough task. We may be allowed to submit those details. The ending solution, which has not been found favourable, is that once you appropriate for a project in a particular budget, it should not be lined up in another year.”According to Fashola, the country could not finance new projects every year due to its enormous nature.

He added, "Most of these roads are between 50km and 100km. In your states, 5km (road) takes 24 months. Then if we have more in a budget, we cannot finish them. It is not what we want. Our resources are not increasing in an exponential manner, compared to our projects.”It was then resolved by the committee that the projects in 2017, which were not procured, be rolled over into the 2018 budget and re-presented in the report in a week.

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