Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Tuesday, described the delay in passing the national budget by the National Assembly as destructive to the economy.
Obaseki, who said this when he played host to the Senate Committee on Works led by its Vice Chairman, Senator Clifford Ordia, frowned at the action of the members of the National Assembly.
He described as unfair, a situation whereby a state like Edo, passed its budget in December only to wait for another six months to begin implementation of the budget because of the delay in passing the national budget.
The Governor, who warned that the Senators should not expect contractors executing projects to do much because budget was passed during the rainy season.
He however called on the Senate to create a special fund for construction and maintenance of some key federal roads, since the water ways and railways were yet to be fully developed, noting that fixing of the integral roads would reduce tension in the country.”You need to earmarked certain fund, dedicated resources for some key federal roads and keep the roads open. Our rails and water ways are not developed and such good road maintenance will affect our economic growth,” Obaseki said.
On the failed section of the Benin-Lokoja highway at Ekpoma, Governor Obaseki said he once told the Federal Comptroller-General of Works not to return to Benin if the contractors were not mobilised to site.
Governor Obaseki stated that the failed sections of the Benin-Lokoja highway paralyzed economy of the state as heavy traffic diverted through Ekpoma township destroyed the internal road network
He promised to have quarterly engagements with federal lawmakers in the state on possible ways for them to support activities in the state.
Earlier in his speech, Senator Ordia, who represents Edo Central in the Senate, informed the Governor that they were in the state to carry out special physical assessments of the dualisation of the Lokoja-Benin highway.
Ordia, who disclosed that level of work on the road was slow because of paucity of funds, informed Governor Obaseki that the contractor handling the Ekpoma axis of the Lokoja-Benin highway has resumed work.