2024 budget: David Umahi seeks more money for infrastructure

Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi has requested more money for his ministry.

The former Governor of Ebonyi State is proposing an increase in the 2024 budget allocation from N657.22 billion to N1.5 trillion.

Umahi made the request during the defence of the 2024 Budget estimate for the Ministry of Works before the National Assembly Joint Committees on Appropriation.

He emphasized that this increment would facilitate the completion of at least 10 critical roads and bridges in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.

He also presented a request for an Emergency Fund of approximately 30% of the Budget Provision which, according to him, would “cater for unforeseen emergencies that regularly occur on the road network, especially during the rainy season.”

The minister further urged for an “urgent review of all certified debts to contractors and, if possible, convert the same to Promissory Notes to contractors so that we can get properly focused on using any fund appropriated to us to pursue the Ministry’s set objectives.”

Concerning inflation, the Minister emphasized that “many contractors are presently out of sites because they have exhausted their contract VoPs and needed the projects’ unit rates to be reviewed.

“It will be good that all VoPs and augmentations of all the projects are reviewed, and those that are owed be converted to Promissory Notes, while the unit rates regime will take effect on contractors in line with the current realities of the construction industry,” he added.

The Minister advocated for “more eligible companies to be encouraged to key into the Road Tax Credit Scheme to increase the number of private sector interventions. This means front-loading their tax liabilities to solve our present challenges.”

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