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FG will pay N20 bn to states for road rehabilitation

10 April 2013, 11:26

Abuja - The Federal Government will pay N20 billion to states which complied with the provisions for the rehabilitation of federal roads in their states in 2013.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememe, made this known when he spoke with newsmen at the PDP National Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

Onolememe was at the party headquarters to brief the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) members on his ministry's activities.

He said that the N20 billion would be shared to the state governments that complied with the provision for carrying out such rehabilitation of roads out of the verified N42 billion.

The minister explained that some state governors were not refunded because they failed to follow the required guidelines for carrying out such roads rehabilitation.

He said that one of the guidelines was that such rehabilitation should be done in line with the Public Procurement Act of 2007, because federal fund was involved.

"In procurement matters, you do not spend federal funds if they are not in compliance with the Public Procurement Act. That is where some of them have challenges," the minister said.

The minister said that the construction of the second Niger bridge was a "done deal", stressing that it was not like a normal road or bridge construction.

He said that the construction of the bridge was technical; the ministry had gone into the second round of the project which involved preliminary field work.

Onolememe said that the geo-technical survey had already been carried out on the site as ordered by the Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission.

This, he said, was in line with the international best practice, adding that early works for the project had commenced.

The minister said that the ministry was presently carrying out investigation on the existing Niger Bridge to ascertain the kind of maintenance to be carried out on it.

According to him, this followed the reported state of the bridge in the recent time.

He attributed the non-implementation of road projects across the country in the past to inadequate funding and financial arrangements in the ministry.

"We found out that the financing of road projects has been only through the budgetary provision which has proved inadequate to fund projects.

"That is one of the reasons why most of our roads are never truly implemented," the minister said.

He said that his ministry was putting in place some measures to ensure the sustenance and maintenance of newly rehabilitated roads across the country.

This, the minister said, was to ensure that he made a difference and did not leave the roads in the  state of disrepair he met them.

"One of the policies we have put in place to ensure sustainability of the roads is to ensure that we put in place Output-Base Performance management and maintenance of these roads.

"Contractors will be engaged under the arrangement, the contractors will be responsible for the management of the roads in line with international best standard,’’ Onolememe said.

The minister said that the Ikon-Ifom Road in Cross River which had been completed had already been advertised for the Output-Base Performance contractors to manage.

According to him, this will be applied to all completed roads across the country.

He said that the Federal Government was also putting in place measures to forestall the reoccurrence of flooding in Lokoja within 90 days.

Earlier, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, expressed satisfaction with the minister`s performance.

He said that the minister`s briefing would not only enlighten members of the party`s NWC, but would enable them to explain better, the ministries activities to the public and party members.

He also said that it would enable the party and the Federal Government to consolidate on what had been achieved and to proffer ways on how to move forward.

Tukur said that ministers were the link to the people and the vehicle to drive development in all sectors of the economy to the people.


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