Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola has claimed that Nigerian roads are not as bad as they are said to be.
The Minister disclosed this after the federal executive council meeting on Wednesday with the Vice President, Yomi Osinbanjo. He also told newsmen that the major challenge encountered in the completion of roads across the country is funding.
“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,” he said.
“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 the news but also educate the public.
“You must also be aware that between awarding a contract and also mobilizing to the 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 a guarantee.
“Building materials – rocks, laterite, quarry, iron rods 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.”
Fashola also revealed that there will be a massive mobilization of contractors for rehabilitation of roads as well as continuation of road construction projects across the country when the rains are over.
“So what we experienced in this year is unusual, it’s not a good time to be in the transport system. We also want this season to quickly end so that we can go back to work during the dry weather.”