Federal Government released the sum of N268.27 billion for the implementation of various projects in the Power, Works and Housing sector in the 2016 fiscal year.
The amount released reflects 63.44 percent of the total sum of N422.900 billion appropriated for the sector, leaving a balance of N154,628,527,315 (36.56 percent) of the total budget.
According to the document, out of the N260,082,997,389.84 approved for Works’ sector, the sum of N198.300 billion was released leaving a balance of N61,782,997,389.84.
From the sum of N91,257,561,006.16 approved for Power sector, the sum of N36 billion, leaving a balance of N55,257,561,006.16.
The sum of N33,971,472,685 appropriated for the Housing sector, out of total sum of N71,559,441,604, leaving a balance of N37,587,968,919 yet to be cash-backed due to dwindling revenue generated for the year 2016.
The information was contained in the document submitted by Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing while giving update on the status of the funds released for implementation of the critical projects for the year under review.
The Minister who was accompanied by top management of the Ministry, to the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the alleged breach of privilege, violation of Appropriation Act held at the weekend, affirmed that all the projects captured in the Appropriation Act, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the federation.
Fashola who reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards improving inter-state roads, denied allegations on the misgivings on the refund of funds alleged released for the Second Niger Bridge.
“Like many Nigerians, I have been concerned about the state and pace of development of our country’s infrastructure and the consequences they have on our quality of life and expectations.
“My views have been expressed in speeches at specific public fora, and also in presentations made to the oversight committees that related to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in both Houses of Parliament.
“As far as roads are concerned, I have argued that we should build roads which connect our states, which drive our economy, which move our fuel, which moves our food and which help us to import and export goods.
“Any road that does not connect to the last point necessary to drive our economy is a road to nowhere.
“With regard to power, I have made a similar case about the need to product the power, transport and distribute it, as priority. Unless we do these, it is my view that no real results can be expected in terms of the purpose of the rural electrification projects.
“This position is not different with housing which must take into consideration locating them in places with existing infrastructure like roads and electricity or water supply; otherwise people will be reluctant to live in them.
“This general preface represents the basis why I hold the view that our budgeting priorities and processes must change from what we have done since 1999, if we truly expect to see a different result from what we have had,” the Minister stated.
Breakdown of the road projects worth N41,308,351,806.19, for the ‘important and critically failed roads listed for urgent palliative repair works,’ showed that 13 critical roads worth over N22 billion were captured in the Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Taraba, Yobe and Gombe states within the North East region.
Fiftheen critical road projects were captured in the seven North West states, namely Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa and Katsina respectively.
Eleven road projects were captured across the five North West states, namely: Niger, Benue, Kwara, Nasarawa and Kwara.
In the five South West states, namely: Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos, nine road projects were captured.
For the four South East states, namely: Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Imo, seven road projects were captured.
The five states in the South-South states, namely: Akwa-Ibom, Edo, Cross River, Delta and Bayelsa also got nine road projects.