Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has said that Nigeria’s roads are not nearly as bad as portrayed by the media to the putblic.
He asked that news agencies do their best to properly relate the state of roads and projects in work so as to educate and inform the masses.
He added that the delay between awarding of contracts and implementation was justified by the number of processes in between.
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According to him:
“The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad”.
Fashola also said that some parts of the country faced peculiar issues like high water table, which made construction in the rainy season difficult. According to him, the South-East and South-South are among areas with such difficulties.
“When I come here to announce that a particular amount was approved for a contract that doesn’t mean the amount has been paid contrary to what you suggest.
You are mindful also that minister of finance, different arms of government are escalating the fiscal challenges we face as a nation in trying to fund the budget.
You are also mindful that the last few budgets in Nigeria for almost 20 years have been deficit budgets and these are terminologies that are realities and I think we should acquaint ourselves with if we are not just to report news but also educate the public.
You must also be aware that between awarding a contract and also mobilizing to site there is a distance. First of all we have to have an agreement that is the relationship between the ministry of works or any other ministry and the ministry of justice, then there is a role that banks play, they have to give guarantee.
Building materials – rocks, laterite, quarry, iron rode have to be ordered, construction companies don’t keep them.
The process of producing blasting rocks requires approval from the office of ministers of Justice and even the office of the NSA to get approval to get dynamite. All of these are the things that go on.
So the point that I am making to you is that there is a distance between approval, implementation, actual construction and the result.”