Political pressure cause of abandoned, inferior road projects – Senators reveals

Senators

The Senate has blamed the pressure mounted on the Federal Ministry of Works by politicians and other top government officials to continuously award road projects in their favour as being majorly responsible for the avalanche of multiple uncompleted and substandard road projects scattered all over the country.

The lawmakers also chided the Federal Ministry of Works, especially the Buhari administration for awarding multiple road projects and completing none.

Deliberating on the feasibility of the 2024 N892.4 billion works budget approved for the construction of roads and other critical infrastructure in the country, the Senate Committee on Works chaired by Senator Barinada Mpigi, said the sum was grossly inadequate to address the road deficits in the country.

At its meeting earlier in the week, members of the committee admitted that some senators and Rep members, including state governors, ministers and other top government officials usually besiege the Ministry of Works office to lobby for their constituency road projects,.

Holes were also picked in the Tax Credit Scheme on road construction introduced by the immediate past administration of former President Muhammad Buhari through an Executive Order 7 in 2021 and continued by the Bola Tinubu administration, with some lawmakers calling for a public hearing to ascertain the transparency of the scheme.

In his contribution, Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), said that it will only take a strong political will for politicians to stop pressuring the Ministry of Works to award multiple road contracts in their favour.

He explained: “When we came into office in 2019, we had only 500 roads under construction but because of the political pressure, particularly from ministers, senators and other political leaders, by the year 2020, the number of roads increased to about 700. By the time the budget of 2024 was submitted, we had close to 1400 roads under construction, and amounts awarded were so small that they cannot make any significant impact.”

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