Minister of Power , Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Friday , said the contractors handling Federal Government roads across the country abandoned the roads because they were not paid by the previous administration in the last three years.
Fashola who spoke at the commissioning ceremony of the 24 km Itori-Ibese concrete road constructed by AG-Dangote in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun state, said, the current government was first to budget 30 per cent for power, works and Housing ministries.
The Minister said the three ministries suffered under the previous administration because less than N30 billion was budgeted for them while the current administration has earmarked N300 billion for the three ministries. He said the problem facing the government on roads construction was caused by the immediate-past administration, saying the solution is for the government to spend aggressively on roads infrastructure.
According to him,in 2015 N18 billion was budgeted for roads, N5 billion for power and N1.8 billion was earmarked for Housing. “Over N300 billion was budgeted for the three ministries despite that there is no money. What we are facing today is the aggregate of what has happened in the last three years.’’ He however, called for the participation of private sectors in the provision of infrastructure, saying, though, the government is expected to provide public infrastructure. While commending the President and Chief executive of Dangote industry limited, Aliko Dangote, Fashola disclosed that the Federal Government has approved the construction of 42.5km Obajana-Kaba road to AG Dangote.
In his speech, Alhaji Aliko Dangote advised the government to adopt concrete roads which are 25 per cent cheaper than the conventional asphalt roads. He said economic loses due to poor condition of the roads is estimated at about $1 billion annually, saying the introduction of concrete roads would enable the government find lasting solution to the poor road network in the county.
Dangote also disclosed that as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, his company has begun reconstruction of Ijora-Apapa Wharf road in Lagos state using cement concrete.
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun in his remarks begged the Federal government to grant requests by Dangote to repair some of the roads through cement concrete. Amosun who listed some roads that needed government urgent attention such as Pap-Ilaro, Sagamu-Ogijo road, saying, anyone that that removes Sango-Ogijo roads from the budget is an enemy of the state.
Those that attended the ceremony included former governor of Ogun state, Chief Segun Osoba, former governor of Ekiti state, Niyi Adefarati, traditional rulers among others.