Just days before President Muhammadu Buhari’s term ends, the Nigerian federal government defended its recent actions regarding contract awards and external borrowing.
Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, announced that contracts will be awarded until midnight on May 28.
Fashola explained his position in Akure, the Ondo state capital while launching the N 90 billion upgrade of the 49-kilometer Akure/Ado-Ekiti highway.
People are asking why we are still awarding contracts when we have just a few days to go. It is a juvenile conversation. They forgot, among other things, that the term of this administration ends at midnight on May 28, he stated.
According to Fashola, the complexities of governance, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and public debt, necessitate the continuation of contract awards.
The Minister argued that borrowing or taxation are the only ways to achieve infrastructure development, noting that the N90 billion cost of the highway project will be covered by the NNPC through the federal government’s tax credit policy.
“I’ve heard a lot of stories about myself, but none of them bother me. “It is not as simple as it appears,” Fashola said, adding that the project will be handled by Samchase Nigeria Ltd. and Kopeck Construction Company and is expected to be completed in 24 months.
Fashola also used the occasion to criticize the Procurement Act, urging the 10th National Assembly to amend it, claiming that it was impeding the country’s development.
That procurement law and the processes that it prescribes are not consistent with the hurry that Nigeria is in for development. Its intention is good, but the processes slow down the country, he explained.
Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State for Transport, and governors from both states praised Fashola’s efforts at the event.
The first section of the road project, which was awarded to two construction companies for N46.6 billion, will be followed by a second section for N49.2 billion.
One contractor will begin work from the Ekiti State border, while the other will begin from the Ondo State border, indicating a collaborative effort to improve the road that connects these two important states.
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