Monday, October 25, 2021

Rep wants works ministry budget increased to N500 billion to fix roads

“But honestly, we need more funding, at least (an) additional of N500 billion for massive development in road infrastructure.”

• October 14, 2021
A composite of bad roads used to illustrate the story.

Abubakar Kabir, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Works, has underscored the need for an upward review of the proposed allocation to execute various road projects across the country.

“Of course, the president has done very well in terms of initiation of SUKUK, NSIA, HDMI; they are doing very well,” said the legislator. “But honestly, we need more funding, at least (an) additional of N500 billion for massive development in road infrastructure.”

Mr Kabir said this during the debate on the general principles of the 2022 budget estimates on Wednesday in Abuja.

This is against the backdrop of the 2022 Appropriation Bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before the joint session of the National Assembly.

In the budget, N481,964,861,868 was proposed for the works and housing ministry.

While expressing concern over the state of federal roads and the need for adequate funding, the lawmaker said there was a need to upscale the ministry’s budget.

The proposed budget showed that N15,050,141,513 is for personnel; N16,885,462,684 for overhead; and N450,029,257,671 is for capital expenditure.

Hr pointed out that the allocation to the ministry was inadequate, adding that only N280 billion was allocated in the 2022 budget.

He added that currently, the country had about N640 billion certificates owing contractors.

“So, if we apply N280 billion against N640 billion for our outstanding certificates, that means in 2022, there is nothing we can see in any road infrastructure such as bridges and construction of roads,” Mr Kabir reasoned.

He also called for the adoption of the policy on Tax Credit Scheme, which allows companies to develop road infrastructure with tax holidays to the tune of the project’s cost.

(NAN)

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