David Umahi, the minister of works, says the administration of President Bola Tinubu inherited N14 trillion worth of road projects across the country.
Umahi gave the number of road projects inherited from the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari as 2,604 spanning 18,000 kilometers.
Speaking with reporters at the presidential villa, the minister said of the N14 trillion, N4 trillion has been paid to contractors by the current administration.
“Between when we came on board and now, about N4 trillion has been paid. And so that is a balance of N10 trillion remaining,” he said.
“Now, in this N10 trillion, we have identified sources that could fund up to N4 trillion. So, we have a funding gap of about N6 trillion.
“We have a number of programs for road development under the previous administration. We inherited all the projects; we have not dropped any of them. But curious to know that some of these projects have lasted for 20 years, some 10 years.
“In fact, in most cases, they were never appropriated throughout every tenure.
“So I went to seek Mr. President’s nod so that I will be able to terminate some of the projects that have stayed up to 10 years without any defined source of funding.”
The minister said Tinubu should encourage the national assembly to prioritise road projects.
“Just look at over 2,600 projects, 18,000 kilometers of roads, and N14 trillion. That is huge and the worrisome part of this is that even the ones that are being funded properly, the roads hardly last up to five years,” Umahi said.
“I shared with Mr President that the way appropriation is being done is not healthy to develop our roads infrastructure. For example, for a road that may cost N10 billion, an appropriation of N150 million is made.
“It is just for the contractor to take and put in his pockets because where the average cost of projects that we inherited is about N700 million per kilometres and you are giving out N150 million for the whole year, then you are just enhancing the pockets of the contractor.”