By Echeburu Oby
The Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, on Thursday in Abuja, appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Housing to defend the ministry’s 2021 budget estimates.
He stated that, the N76.4 billion apportioned to the ministry in the 2021 budget would be insufficient to achieve its proposed 186 projects across the country. And not forgetting that the ministry is owing 3,504 home-grown contractors in the Housing sector the sum of N69.9 billion.
Fashola stated that, 2,601 of the contractors that are being owed N33.9 billion, performed zonal intervention projects popularly known as the constituency projects. The minister said he will be needing the assistance of the lawmakers on ways to paying the liabilities. And urged them to pinpoint the affected projects in their various constituencies which had attracted enormous charges and choose them as their special intervention programmes for 2021 instead of proposing new ones.
Siting from our 2021 budget, it is obvious to say, that we already have a problem due to the N69.9 billion liabilities we are yet to pay. The N76 billion budget can’t lead to any way forward.
‘’He concluded by saying, the N76 billion budget was created on the covering instruction from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the financial realities as at the time the budget was fixed.’’