Senate rejects ministry’s $434 million request for road repairs

Senate rejects ministry’s $434 million request for road repairs

The Senate has described as “erroneous” report that it approved fresh loan of N850 billion at the plenary on Tuesday.

The senate committee on local and foreign debts has rejected $434.7 million request by the federal ministry of works and housing.

The loan request is meant for the repair of selected federal roads across the country including Gombe-Biu road, Calabar Urban-Ekan-Ajaso road, Owerri-Amaraku-Okigwe road, Mokwa-Pezi-Tegina-Kaduna road, and Katsina-Gibiya-Niger Republic Border road.

On Monday, Abubakar Aliyu, minister of state for works and housing, appeared before the committee to request approval for the loan.

But members of the committee queried the fresh request, insisting that the borrowing plan had been previously approved.

The members said the ministry ought to brief the committee on the work status of the road and not come up with the same loan request.

Clifford Ordia, chairman of the committee, said the $434.7 million had been approved in the 2016- 2018 borrowing plan by the national assembly.

“Honourable Minister, it is good to be very precise in a situation like this. Like I have told you, as far as the national assembly is concerned, that $434,700,000.00 has been approved by the national assembly under the borrowing plan 2016 – 2018,” he said.

“I want to let you know that after that borrowing plan we have been able to access some money on the institutional strengthening and implementation of policy reforms and the Abidjan-Lagos corridor highway development project study.

“You may wish to confirm from the federal ministry of finance for clarification. Concerning the $434.7 million, it has been approved by the national assembly under the borrowing plan and we cannot change it here now.”

In his remarks, Abubakar said the ministry will approach the ministry of finance for clarification on the loan request.

He said funds have not been released for the rehabilitation projects to kick off.

“I think the most important thing is that we have not gotten funding. What I mean is that we have not received money and these projects have not taken off,” he said.

“Coming to you is not a one-off coming. But these clarifications, if we are not able to make it now, we will still come back with them and adjust them to suit the present condition.”

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