Nigerian Government is owing contractors N336 billion as of July, 2020, according to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola made the disclosure on Sunday while defending his ministry’s efforts on road infrastructure
According to the Minister, only N27 billion had been released by the Federal Ministry of Finance and about N162 billion was available through the Sukuk Bond.
“Our debts as of the end of July, our outstanding and unpaid certificates for example were in the area of N336 billion. Now, the release we have from the Ministry of Finance for the second quarter is N27 billion.
“Then we have the Sukuk (which is) N162 billion. So, if you add that up, we are still way behind and more certificates are piling up for work that we haven’t paid,” Fashola said when he appeared on Arise Television.
The Minister explained that the ministry is constructing 44 roads with the N162 billion Sukuk bond.
“When you divide N162bn by 44 roads, what is left? He questioned, saying “that defines where we are in terms of the funding challenge.”
The minister said the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency would repair about 192 roads in the next 12 months, while 37 bridges were undergoing maintenance.
“At this moment, for example, FERMA is going to undertake 192 road repairs and maintenance over the next 12 months. They just sent me the implementation plan on Friday last week and they are good to go,” he said.
The minister supported the re-introduction of tolls on major roads, adding that, “I can’t sit here in judgement over the circumstances that led to the removal of the tollgates because I don’t have the full facts on why the government of the day took that decision.
“In Yoruba and other languages, they say beheading is not the cure of headache.”
He stated that the government was looking at the option of entering into concessions with the private sector on major roads, which would see to the construction of guest houses, filling stations and others along the highways.